5 Ways to Make Your Netflix Binge (a Little) Healthier

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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

The second season of Orange Is the New Black debuted on Netflix this morning, which means TV lovers across the country will be spending this weekend glued to their sofas. Now, nobody could possibly say that a binge-watching marathon is healthy. Excess television viewing is a risk factor for obesity, and a 2011 Harvard University meta-analysis revealed that two hours of daily TV time was linked to a 20% greater risk of diabetes, a 15% higher chance of cardiovascular disease, and a 13% elevated risk for all-cause deaths. Yikes.

You probably already know that there are healthier ways to spend your weekend than watching all 13 hour-long episodes, but we get it if you’re ready to settle in with your TV. (Trust us, we want to know what happened between Piper and Pennsatucky, too!) But if you want to make your binge a little less bad for you, take these five steps.

Work out beforehand
Burn calories before your binge with a workout that will ramp up your body’s fat-burning power for the rest of the day. This metabolism-boosting workout from celebrity trainer Amy Dixon torches up to 300 calories in about 30 minutes, and requires zero equipment—so no need to leave your living room.

Stock your fridge with healthy snacks
You can also keep your body’s engine revved by snacking on the right foods. (Sorry, potato chips and microwave popcorn.) These 20 fat-burning snacks all contain fewer than 200 calories, plus they have at least 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber.

Get moving between episodes
When the credits roll after each episode, it’s time to hit pause and get off your butt. Quick bursts of high-intensity exercise will help counter the effects of spending so much time sitting, so try this 2-Minute Energy Boosting Workout. But any movement is better than nothing, so refill your water glass, swap out your laundry, walk the dog—you get the idea.

Go easy on the booze
If you’re attending a viewing party, chances are there will be alcohol involved. A drink or two is fine—in fact, people who consume moderate amounts of beer, wine, and liquor may be at reduced risk for heart disease, Alzheimer’s, certain types of cancers, and even weight gain. The key word here is moderation, so resist the urge to play any OITNB drinking games.

Don’t stay up all night
Going to bed super-late Saturday night will make for a sleepy Sunday and a potentially miserable Monday. No thanks!


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