Tune out the TV to benefit your mind, body, family and money
from daveramsey.com on 18 Feb 2010
It’s no secret that we Americans love our TV time. Nielsenwire says that on average, we spent nearly five hours a day watching TV during the 2008–2009 season. That pushes the trend up 10% over 10 years ago.
If you’ve decided you don’t want to be normal, reducing your TV time is a healthy way to be weird. Here are just a few things you can do besides watch TV.
Review Your Financial Situation
An AARP poll found that 28% of Americans spent more time watching reality TV in a month than they spent planning and preparing for retirement over the past 10 years. Does that sound responsible to you? We’re not saying you should bury your nose in your financial statements 24/7, but you should know where you stand, what your financial goals are, and what your plan is to reach those goals. Dave’s team can put you in touch with professionals in your area who will help you address all your financial planning needs—from taxes to insurance and investing.
Read a Book
Motivational speaker Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” If you’re not a regular book reader, just take a leap of faith on this—even if you think you’ll never enjoy reading. You’ll benefit from the information you read, and the actual act of reading sparks your brain in ways TV never can. What should you read? Consider one of Dave’s books or check out some books he recommends.
Play a Game
Board games are not only fun for the whole family, they’re good for the whole family. Adults find game night a stress reliever as well as a great way for family members to reconnect. Kids enjoy the family time while building social and critical thinking skills. Need more incentive? The New England Journal of Medicine reports that brain-challenging activities like board games can reduce your risk of dementia by as much as 63%!
Really. Does this need further explanation? Studies show every hour spent watching TV drives up your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer. Personal trainers suggest you spend equal time watching TV and exercising. A simple evening walk or tossing a ball for your dog is better for you than time spent in front of the tube.
Before radio, TV, video games and cell phones, conversation was an important activity. People actually sat down with the single purpose of talking to each other. Conversation used to be considered an art—now we text, post Facebook comments, or just grunt at each other during commercials. What could you learn in a 30-minute conversation with your teenager? Your mom? Your grandfather? You’ll appreciate the people in your life when you’re intentional about connecting with them.