This month at Postconsumers, we’re really helping you to distance yourself from the consumer machine by giving you a hundred things that you can do instead of watch television. If you want to help break society’s habits of addictive consumerism, then you need to let go of the enablers. The media messages you get about “stuff” and consumption when you watch TV are one of the biggest enablers of addictive consumerism. In our first entry, we gave you fifteen ways to walk away from the television that involved something we dearly love – food! Today, we’re giving you fifteen ways to walk away from the television that will help get you healthy by moving your body.
16. Take a Walk! Movement is Movement.
If physical movement isn’t your “natural” state of being, then you may want to start slowly and simply. Get out and take a walk. No matter where you live or what the weather is like, walking outdoors is always possible and a great way to get some physical activity in. You also get the added benefit that you’re actually outside (and we could all use some more outdoor time these days). If you think what you’re watching on TV is interesting, we assure you that the shenanigans you’ll observe when walking through the world can be just as entertaining.
Pro Tip: Go one step further and make your walk entirely media-free (or media-less) by NOT putting earbuds or headphones on!
17. Do Yoga Outside.
Yoga inside is a great way to get active and get away from the television, but you have to know that we’re partial to activities that have the added benefit of being outdoors. Yoga isn’t just good for your body (especially if, like us, you spend a lot of time in an office chair). It’s also good for your mind. You can undo a lot of the “clutter” in your brain from all of the constant exposure to television and media by having some quiet yoga time in the setting of your choice.
18. Aqua Aerobics. Trust Us!
We’re throwing this one in because it’s one of our personal favorites. It may seem like aqua aerobics is a bunch of old biddies barely working out, but take one class and you’ll instantly know differently. Not only is it a great workout, but it’s so much fun. We took some teenage girls there the other week and now they can’t stop going.
19. Use the Beauty of Streaming to Workout.
The internet and video game consoles don’t have to be evil by necessity. In fact, in particular the Nintendo Wii has a complete workout and yoga package. And online these days there are monthly yoga workout and daily burn workout subscription packages that you can pay a flat fee for and then stream onto your laptop or tv for a home workout. We understand that public or group workouts aren’t for everybody. The great thing about the internet era is that you can get a great workout at home with very little effort and access to many, many options at reasonable prices. Just be wary that if you do choose a streamed workout option, you will probably be subjected to ads to convince you that you need to buy workout gear. Be strong! You just need sweatpants (and maybe a top).
20. Get Back on the Bike.
It really is true that it comes back to you no matter how long you’ve been off it! Biking isn’t just great exercise, it’s also a super way to get outdoors and see the world. But unlike walking biking can take you further and get you to some really unique locations. As another benefit, you can equip your bike with a basket and get your daily errands (or shopping) taken care of at the same time. Bike commuting is picking up popularity across the nation. You never know, getting back on the bike may lead to a newfound adult passion for biking everywhere.
21. Join a “Run for Charity” Group.
Kill four birds with one stone (or something that’s not as violent as killing birds!). Joining a run for charity training group (or even a triathlon one) gets you active, helps you be social, does good for the charity that you’ve chosen and keeps you away from the television screen. Of all the ideas we’ve listed out, this has to be the most efficient one.
22. Create Family and Friends Activity Day.
Be the organizer! Whether it’s dancing, playing basketball or getting out and walking together, activity is more fun when you do it together. Not only are you staying away from the television and engaging in social activity, but you’re also helping everybody whom you invite to be healthier through movement. That’s a great thing, right?
23. Have a Dance Party. Get Your Groove On.
Maybe working out isn’t your thing. Maybe being outdoors isn’t your thing. But we’re pretty sure that dancing is everybody’s thing. After all, what’s more fun than just letting loose to your favorite tunes? A dance party doesn’t need other people, either. So no excuses if you’re self-conscious! A dance party can be just you, some tunes and an open space in your room. Not only is it screen-free time when you’re moving, but you’ll be happier and more stress-free when you’re done. Get dancing. Release stress. Avoid the television.
24. Play with Your Pet. They’ll Love It, Too!
If you have a pet, then we know this: there is no amount of time that you can play with them that is enough for them! From little dogs to cats who bat to big dogs who run, your pet will give you a workout. And your pets don’t have any interest in watching television. Really. It bores them. They’ll be happier with the extra playtime – and you’ll be healthier both mentally and physical.
25. Do Something Crazy and Adventurous.
Go big! Get out there and try a bunch of new physical activities. Hit a climbing wall. Try a cross-fit class. Experiment with martial arts or boxing. The list is as endless as your imagination. Adventure is good for you. Combine it with physical activity and the benefits get exponentially higher.
26. Go Hiking – Even If It’s Urban Park Hiking.
You don’t need to be in the wilds of West Virginia to have a beautiful hike (though you’re lucky if you are!). Almost every urban city has a significant green space within the city that you can easily get to via public transportation and then hike on trails. You’ll forget that you’re even in a city. You’ll also be clearing your mind, getting exercise and staying far away from any televisions screens. You may want to check out our “pro tip” above for ideas on how to make your hiking adventure entirely media free.
27. Go Throwback with Old School Workout Videos.
We did this recently and it was so much fun! On YouTube (which, yes, technically counts as screen time), you can find lots of copies of the old Jane Fonda or other step aerobics videos. It’s kitschy and it’s fun – and it’s entirely possible to turn the YouTube ads off. Throwback is all the rage right now, and while we don’t advocate buying into trends, we think that this one has some benefits.
28. Organize a Pick-Up Game.
Get out and organize a pick-up game of the sport of your choice. Basketball, street hockey, soccer… put up some fliers, use a MeetUp group or organize through other organizations you’re part of. You may be surprised how many people have a similar shared interest in playing some pick-up sports but just can’t find a group to play with. Be that group.
29. Get Out and Garden.
There are lots of benefits to being in a garden, but physical activity definitely counts as one of them. If you’ve never gardened before, then you may find this hard to believe. Trust us when we say that anybody who’s spent time in a garden is nodding their head right now and saying, “Yep, that’s a workout.” Grow food, be outdoors, enjoy the earth – garden!
30. Take a Dance Class.
We know a woman who recently took a ballet class for her thirtieth birthday after not having taken one for over a decade. We probably can’t do the amount of joy that she felt justice. You’re never too old to take a class if it’s something that you love. Ballet, belly dance – you find something that brings you joy and you take the class. It’s that simple.
Those are our second fifteen ideas for staying away from the television. Need or want more? Continue on to part three, where we focus on ideas that help you do good in the world.
Did we miss an activity-based way to avoid the television that you’d like to share? Tell us about it on the social media channels below.
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Photo Credit: Heather Dowd via Flickr