big TVs and heart health

A Walk, a TV, and Your Heart

My inspiration for this National Heart Month blog came about during one of my frequent walks in my neighborhood. Even though I have an indoor exercise cycle where I can burn off excess calories, I love being outdoors walking in my community, experiencing nature, and smiling at passersby. I fulfill several of my Power of 5 goals with an S for Sweat, an S for Stress reduction (mindfulness being one with nature), and an S for Socialization (interacting with neighbors and their four-legged friends).

A Few Thoughts

On a recent walk, I noticed a large box set out at the curb of one of the nearby homes. I acknowledged that trash pickup would be the following day, but my curiosity got the best of me. The discarded cardboard box had contained a 75-inch TV, very nice, but several thoughts shot through my brain.

  1. My cautious instinct has learned to avoid advertising to the world any new and valuable purchases. The best way to avoid/prevent a home theft is to discard a box of such a valuable purchase.
  2. My second thought was that the house was of a size that a 75-inch TV would likely overpower any of its rooms.
  3. Third, I have not seen any of the home’s occupants walk except from the house to their automobile.

Obesity & Type Two Diabetes

The primary reason for sharing this story is what has happened to our society in the past 40 years with the “explosion” of TV sizes and the number of cable and streaming options. There has been a tremendous increase in obesity (among both adults and children) and type two diabetes, which are precursors of coronary artery disease. Cardiac death might have dropped because of technological and medical advances, but heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the US.

Ben’s & My Sage Advice

  1. We could follow some of Benjamin Franklin’s sage advice from the late 1700s when he recommended, “To lengthen thy years, lessen thy meals.” Make dietary changes much like I recommend in my books and blogs. (Here’s a good one to read.)
  2. We can work on our sleep patterns to improve the quality and duration of our sleep.
  3. But why not start combatting our own risk for heart disease by getting three S’s all at once? Go outside for a walk. You’ll get more sweat and socialization and reduce your stress all at the same time!

Remember, make time to care of yourself. It is National Heart Month, so remember to take care of your heart too.

To a long and healthy life,

David Bernstein, MD

P.S. Read my earlier reality check too: click here.

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