How to Get Your Teen to Watch Less Television
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How to Get Your Teen to Watch Less Television

Teenagers are the largest demographic of television viewers, and the amount of time that they spend watching TV can become a major health concern. Read this article to learn methods to get your teenager off of the couch and exercising more so that they can live a healthier lifestyle.

When teenagers watch TV, they are practically comatose. They do not move at all, they don't interact with anything, they simply sit and watch mindless television. This causes a lack of physical activity that can quickly become a habit, and can lead to serious issues once it is compounded by the fact that most teenagers will eat snack foods while watching television. As a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your teenager is active and is getting enough exercise, as well as making sure that they are not eating large amounts of snack foods. Otherwise, TV and junk foods can lead to cardiovascular disease, strokes, and other serious health issues in their future.

There are a few different things that you can do to influence your teen to stop watching large amounts of television and get them off of the couch.

Stop buying junk food, and instead have healthier options for snacks. For example, pretzels and chips can be replaced with whole wheat crackers and hummus, vegetables and fruit. Without junk food in the house, teenagers won't have the opportunity to pig out while lazing about.

Get your teenager interested in a sport, and sign them up for a league to play in. Any sport or activity that gives them good exercise is a great idea. Check your local newspaper for advertisements for leagues, and ask your teen what they would be interested in playing outside of school to get a good idea of what to look for.

Get into an exercise program with them. This is an especially good idea if you find yourself watching too much TV and not getting enough exercise too. Set up a regime where both you and your teenager exercise at the same time each day. Start out small, maybe walking or running for 15 minutes or so, and work your way up to harder exercises as you become more and more active.

When your teenager has friends over, encourage them to do more then go on the computer, play video games, or sit on the couch watching television and movies. Offer to drive them if they want to go play soccer or even go golfing. If they know that the possibility is there, they are more likely to want to do an activity.

Changing your teenagers television habits is a necessary thing to do if you are concerned about their health, either now or in the future. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, watching four or more hours of TV a day quadruples the risk of high cholesterol in later life. In fact, research has proven that the amount of television watched each day is a better indicator of high cholesterol levels than a family history of high cholesterol.

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