Are you Addicted?

Do you know someone who is constantly checking her phone? What about the person who posts absolutely everything she does on Facebook? Or do you know someone who turns on the TV the second she walks into the house? Do you see a little of yourself in any one of these people? If so, you may be addicted to electronics.

In today’s world, it’s hard to get away from electronic devices – they’re everywhere and they can make life so much easier. You can listen to your favorite music anytime, anywhere on your iPod or iPhone. No more lugging around heavy books on vacation – just read them on your Kindle or iPad. Not going to be home in time for your favorite program? Set your DVR and watch it whenever you want with the bonus of forwarding through the commercials. Share photos of your son doing the cutest thing on Facebook. Post a video of your daughter’s ballet recital on You Tube. Be accessible to your clients 24/7 with email.

Yes, electronics do make connecting to family, friends, and business contacts much easier. But, it also places a big toll on your health.

Time Vacuum

The time spent constantly responding to email, watching TV, or playing on the Wii is always much longer than you think it will be. It’s amazing how the time just gets away from you. You don’t have to respond to every email as it comes in. Designate a time at the beginning, the middle, and the end of the day to hit the “Reply” button. If you are letting your kids have some video game time, set a timer for 20 minutes and shut it off at that point.

Bad on the Body

Unless you’re walking while on the cell phone or doing a fitness game on the Wii, time spent in front of an electronic device is sedentary, which is a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. More and more hours every day are spent in front of a computer, TV, or video game than ever before, so it’s no wonder that Americans are fatter than ever. If you’re not burning calories, you’re not going to be successful with managing your weight. If your job has you in front of a computer all day, then set 5 minute walking breaks at the top of every hour. By the end of the day, that’s 40 minutes of walking, without breaking a sweat.

Family Time

Quality family time is not sitting and watching TV together. But, unfortunately too many families find that the only way to spend any time together is in front of the tube. Sadly, this just reinforces the sedentary lifestyle with parents modeling inactive behaviors. Instead, why not take a walk or hike together? Or, go to the park and throw around a Frisbee or football. How about a family bike ride or walk along the beach looking for seashells? There are endless ways to spend time together being active and making memories, without the use of an electronic device.

Improve your sleep

When you watch TV or surf the net up until bedtime, it makes it much more difficult for you to fall asleep. That’s because the light emitted from the screen suppresses melatonin production in the brain, making it harder to get sleepy. In order to improve your sleep habits, make sure to turn OFF the TV and computer one hour before bed, then do some relaxation exercises (stretching, meditation, deep breathing) for a few minutes before bed. This can help clear the mind and calm the nerves. If you have anything on your mind, make sure to write it all down in a To-Do list so that you don’t go to bed thinking or worrying about anything.

Take a vacation from your electronics

Every now and then it would be a great idea to “accidentally” lose your smartphone and ban the TV and computer from being turned ON. It’s amazing how much time you’ll find you have to do much more than you ever though possible.

Go ahead – Unplug yourself!

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