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4 Ways to Stay Healthy Watching Reality TV

Bachelor Jason Mesnick created some serious drama amongst his finalists.

According to the status updates on Facebook, half of the population (including some men) were watching the Bachelor: After the Final Rose last night to see the twists, turns, and drama. I can only imagine the traffic if I was also connected through Twitter. The consensus seems to not be in Jason’s favor. The disapproval seems mostly focused toward Jason, not Molly, and certainly not Melissa, who handled herself well, especially considering the situation. A break up is always difficult, but I cannot imagine being on national television in that moment.

Kudos to Melissa for handling that situation in any form, let alone with some rationality and maturity. The opinions expressed included the thought that Jason has been the common denominator in his failed relationships. I will grant to Jason that this assessment is likely coming from someone who is not pleased with his choices and/or how he handled the situation. I find it interesting how wrapped up people have gotten with this show and have allowed it to effect their emotions. I know many of our readers are also huge fans of the Biggest Loser and tend to pick favorites and villains. I will leave the Biggest Loser posts to Coleen and Brandi, but I thought I could offer some tips on not allowing reality TV to ruin your day.

The average American household watches 8 hours of TV per day.

1. Utilize Tivo or other digital recording services. This is not because these shows are so important that you should not miss a minute and need to be able to rewind and review in slow motion; in fact, it’s the opposite. You can’t let reality TV take over your reality. There is definitely something to be said for chilling out on your couch and turning your brain off for a while to recover; my concern would be if your schedule centers around a television show and you are turning down real opportunities to be with real people in your own reality. Research shows that while watching television, viewers are mildly anxious and depressed. It is better to live life than observe it.

2. If you are going to snack while vegging out in front of the television, try snacking on some veggies. Eating high calorie, heavy foods during prime time will interfere with sleep and attempts to lose weight. If you are sitting still watching television, the calories you are taking in are not being spent. Both for sleep and to allow your body to digest food fully, it is best to stop eating at least four hours prior to bed.

3. If you’re feeling excess emotion, whether anger, excitement, sadness, or joy, use the energy to do some light exercises like crunches, leg lifts, or push ups. If you’re watching the Biggest Loser or other fitness related show, try some of the things you are observing. This will likely help you feel better and burn off extra energy and calories, and you can continue to watch your show at the same time.

4. Remind yourself that reality TV is not reality and the people on those shows generally represent extremes in one area or another. American Idol seeks out the extremes in talent (or lack thereof). The Biggest Loser looks for those that are most in need of changing their lifestyle and losing weight. The girls on the Bachelor do not represent the average woman. It is not helpful to compare yourself to the people you see on these shows.

March 3rd, 2009

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2 Responses to “4 Ways to Stay Healthy Watching Reality TV”


Descygna Webb
Mar 3rd, 2009
5:53 pm

Brooke, I agree 100%. I was amazed too at the way people are lashing out because of the outcome of this show. Great Blog!


Brooke
Mar 5th, 2009
10:53 am

Thank you. I think people often watch television to escape reality. (We all need a break at some point!) When escaping one’s own reality, people like to get sucked into a story or another reality. Part of the reason watching television causes viewers to be mildly anxious and depressed is because people are investing emotionally in something over which they have no control. Sometimes you have to support your friends when they choose a significant other of whom you do not approve. In the same way, we have to understand that others on tv are going to make choices for their lives. It may not be the ‘best’ decision (or the one you would make), but it may meet a need in their life.