|How TV can help us exercise|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Tuesday, 13 September 2011 19:14|
It’s not news that America is dealing with an obesity epidemic; more people than ever are sedentary and don’t participate in regular exercise. Rather, they stay away from the gym and sit in front of the TV on a regular basis.
According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American spends over four hours a day watching TV. Studies have also shown that more time in front of the TV equals less physical activity time, which supports weight gain.
So why not combine the two problems and put television screens on equipment at the gym? One perk of the new student fitness center is having TVs on some of the cardio machines. Is this a good thing for us? Our Editorial Board has a split opinion on whether or not TVs on cardio machines are a good idea.
On one hand, being able to watch TV while exercising gets people moving and into the gym. With over 70 percent of Americans being inactive, this can be an effective way to get people moving.
Being able to focus on Kelso and his friends talk in The Circle or watch Sam and Ron argue nonstop can help keep your mind off the pain and tiredness you may feel when doing cardio. If a TV show is on, you might be more likely to keep working out longer than you would staring at nothing.
The benefit is that we all have something entertaining to watch that gets us working our bodies for half an hour, maybe longer. We simply can’t argue with the benefits of seeing the rec so busy with students, even if it means we must wait an extra ten minutes for the treadmill with a TV.
On the other hand, people may become too focused on the TV show rather than their workout. They may become too reliant on having something to watch in order to exercise.
If people can pay attention to a story line while exercising, are they really working out hard enough? Some of the Editorial Board believes that the televisions aren’t necessary and can be detrimental to your workout. It can also turn into a need for a machine with a TV and disappointment with or even cancelling a workout due to a lack of entertainment.
Not all facilities have TVs on their cardio equipment; people should not solely rely on a TV episode to be their motivation to get to the gym.
One more point: Having TV screens on the equipment is an added expense — the Student Fitness Center could have saved the money from the TVs and spent it on purchasing more equipment so people have more options. Although there are differing opinions on this subject, the Editorial Board agreed that if it gets people exercising, keep the TVs around. We don’t mind a little reality drama during our run.
Instead of skipping a workout to watch a new episode of your favorite show, it’s more valuable to go to the gym and watch it while exercising. Just try to split your attention between watching TV and watching your actual workout goals.
Switch it up and add in resistance training and not just cardio to your routine. Weight training is essential for a healthy and balanced life.
Whether or not you go to the gym and watch TV, do what you need to do and just work out. Always have a back-up plan in case a machine is taken and make your health a priority in your day.