It’s fun to binge-watch a show that seems super interesting and grabs all of your attention. Most people become ignorant of their health while binge-watching. All they think about is eating and watching while laying down comfortably on the couch. The problem isn’t binge-watching, the problem is in the way people watch television. Watching television is linked with obesity and sleep-deprivation, but it’s only because ‘most people’ watch it in ignorance of their health and its negative effects. You can watch television and still remain healthy simply by following a few precautions. It’s isn’t unhealthy to binge-watch if you’re staying in line with your health.
Keeping in mind these things while watching television for long hours can save your health from deteriorating and keep you physically and mentally healthy:
1. Avoid junk food:
Before you enter the binge-eating mode, consider the type of food that you’re eating. Most people prefer junk or unhealthy food while sitting in one place for many hours straight. Avoiding junk food doesn’t necessarily refer to eating a salad while watching Game of Thrones. Popcorns, strawberries, black-bean chips, and frozen grapes are some of the suggested foods that are healthy and suit the binge-watching hours as well. Not eating healthy and nutritious food and consuming sugary and high-salt foods increase the risk of obesity and chronic disease, both in children and adults.
2. Give regular breaks
Don’t just sit around for hours while watching TV. Always remember to give yourself a little break every few minutes or after every hour at least. Getting up from the couch for a while after each episode doesn’t break your binge-watching chain. It’s rather called taking care of health while watching TV non-stop for hours. Sitting for long hours leads to obesity and laziness. Taking frequent breaks can keep your physical and mental health maintained. Go for push-ups, stretching, or simply walking is better than not getting up.
3. Dim the screen:
Too much exposure to HEV(High Energy Visible) wavelengths or blue light can lead to premature aging of the skin. With a wavelength of 400-500 nanometers, HEV can penetrate deep into the skin, causing free-radical damage in the lower layers of the skin. This leads to sagging and wrinkling. To avoid this, prefer lower screen brightness or use the ‘Night Light’ mode available on most of the devices.
4. Drink more water
When it comes to drinking, prefer water. Don’t just fill your belly with soda or beer as it’ll just lead to obesity. Drink ice-cold water as the body has to work harder to warm it up, and you end up burning a few extra calories. Along with keeping the body hydrated, drinking cold water will also boost metabolism.
If you’re sacrificing sleep just to watch ‘one more episode’, then your health might be in deep trouble. Watching too much television at night can drive you into the sleep-deprivation mode which can lead to chronic diseases in the long term. Watching TV at night is considered detrimental to health and can be the reason why you’re unable to fall asleep at night. It is strictly advised to turn the screens off at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
6. Awareness watching
It’s okay to binge-watch but be mindful about the hours you’re spending in front of the screen. Instead of watching episode after episodes, plan on how much you intend to watch in one go and what all activities you’d be doing afterward. Being ignorant and watching television continuously will only make you feel guilty once you finally decide to leave that couch. Planning your binge-watching time based on how much time you can actually spend watching television will make you less guilty and more productive while enjoying the show as well.
7. Use the 20-20-20 rule
Electric gadgets emit High-Energy Visible (HEV) wavelengths or blue light, which can cause eye strain after using them for long hours. To avoid eye strain, follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, glance away from the screen and look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is to prevent your eyes from being dry and tired and give them a chance to recover.
8. Don’t go dumb
Studies conclude that people who watch more than 3.5 hours of television are causing a loss to their memory, along with the deterioration of their physical health. When watching more than three hours of television, it’s better to engage in some physical activities afterward or alongside a break. More activities to counteract the negative effects of binge-watching include solving crossword puzzles, reading, and engaging in creative activities that require the use of the brain.