Is My TV Killing Me? Report Says: Yes

Family watching television, c. 1958

Attack of the killer TV. Sounds like some terrible B-movie, right? No, its for real.

According to a recent study published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, T.V. has such a devastating impact on one's physical health that even daily visits to that gym cannot undo the damage.

As the NY Times reported:

The study followed 4,512 middle-aged Scottish men for a little more than four years on average. It found that those who said they spent two or more leisure hours a day sitting in front of a screen were at double the risk of a heart attack or other cardiac event compared with those who watched less.

Scary, right? Well, it gets worse. This backs up a study from last year that found that even those who hit the gym regularly, but spent a lot of time in front of screens or stuck in a car, were more at risk to die from heart disease than those who were less active, but didn't spend as much time in front of a TV.

Yes, athletes who love their boob tube might just keel over.

The take-away: Keep screen-time to a minimum.

What do you think?

Fend Off Disease as You Age: Walk

PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease

Want to keep your mind and body strong? A new study from the University of Pittsburgh reveals that walking can reduce the risk for Alzheimer's disease and slow cognitive decline in adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

As reports:

"We found that walking five miles per week protects the brain structure over 10 years in people with Alzheimer's and MCI, especially in areas of the brain's key memory and learning centers," said Cyrus Raji, Ph.D., from the Department of Radiology at theUniversity of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Encourage other to stay active their entire life. You'll look, feel and think better because of it.

Making Resolutions Count

Sparkler, violent reaction (guy fawkes)

Despite changing trends and evolving popular culture, according to,  New Year resolutions repeat with surprising regularity from year to year, and decade to decade.

Some of these resolutions include:

  • Spending more time with the family
  • Eating healthier

and yes, you probably guessed it...

  • Exercising more

Fitness making the list probably isn't a surprise. Each year as January 1 rolls around, Pilates studios book up solid and new gym memberships hit a surge. Unfortunately, by mid-February the busyness of life usually overtakes the resolve of most people.  Any declarations made so confidently on night New Year's Eve surrounded by cheering family and friends are soon swept under the rug, only to be rediscovered the following December.

This doesn't have to be the way!

By making a few simple adjustments, you can set and accomplish your fitness New Year's resolution.

1. Start Small and Slow

Many times people set impossibly challenging fitness resolutions when 1/1 comes around. If running 50 miles a week when they rarely lace on sneakers, or losing 20lbs when they are still putting in overtime at work and have an infant at home doesn't sound possible, that's because it isn't. Instead of making a hugely ambitious fitness resolution, choose a reasonable one and start out slow so don't injure yourself. An example? "I resolve to exercise more by walking with my wife twice a week once around Greenlake". You think its too easy? You're right! You might just sustain this walking goal for a month or two. With this success under your belt, you'll say "Honey, want to try to run this next lap?" Set a small goal and start slow.

2. Be Specific

Contrary to tradition, don't make an ambiguous resolution like "exercise more". People feed off of their own success and how could you ever feel wholly successful with the goal of exercising "more" if you don't make it specific.  More what, time, distance or sweat (and who wants to measure that)? Take the example above about Greenlake and walking. That offers a specific practice (walking), frequency (twice), place (Greenlake) and distance (1 loop, or 3 miles). By adding a few details to back up your resolution, you're much more likely to achieve your goal.

3. Weave It Into Your Life

Another success tactic is making something an intimate part of your life. In the walking example above, by including a partner (spouse, friend, colleague, etc), you're holding yourself more accountable and freeing us extra socializing time. Instead of choosing between spending time with your wife and exercising, you're now able to do both. Another example of this is commuting to work by bike (or foot). By weaving your fitness resolution into your everyday activities, you're making it easier to succeed.

4. Look the Part

So you have a specific goal that's designed to fit into your life and you plan to start off slow. You're on your way to success! I can feel it! I can offer one last tip to make sure you hold up your New Year commitment and that's: look the part. Go shopping for the right clothing and gear to support you in your goal. You don't have to spend a ton (you can try Goodwill or ebay), but having a running jacket makes it harder to use the excuse you have to stay inside when it's drizzling(and we know how often that is in Seattle). Also, a magical thing happens when you slide on your running shorts, zip up your jacket and lace on your sneakers: you transform! You're no longer a couch potato or a winter shut-in, but an athlete! You're a runner. The same goals for cyclists, swimmers and gym rats. The gear holds you to your goal.

Good luck with your resolution! Got any other tips for staying true to your New Year's resolution? Add a comment below.