How can I help my family cut down on TV?

Here are some ways to reduce screen time as a family:

Get aerobic. Try to make 20-30 minutes of your daily activity vigorous and aerobic.
  • Outdoors: bike, walk, run, hike, climb, skate, sled, cross-country ski, or jump rope.
  • Indoors: rowing machine, stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical trainer, active arcade or video games (dance, boxing).
Turn off the TV. Aim for less than 2 hours a day.
  • Remove TV, computers, and game consoles from all bedrooms.
  • Be firm about limits.
  • Don't eat in front of the TV.
  • Don't surf: Schedule time in advance to watch your favorite shows.
  • Exercise while you watch.
Stretch your body every day. Work in stretching activities -- or at least take time to stretch 2 to 3 times a week:
  • Stretch before you get out of bed
  • Stretch before an exercise or sports and after aerobic
  • Learn yoga or Pilates
  • Try martial arts or gymnastics
  • Dance or stretch to music (for toddlers, try "head, shoulders, knees, and toes").
Build strength. Add strength training 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Use your own body weight -- do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and knee bends.
  • Sign up for personal training or work with a coach to learn good technique.
  • Use light weights and do lots of repetitions.
Ease into it. Consider these low-impact activities:
  • Swimming or water play
  • Stationary cycling
  • Elliptical trainers
Play a sport or join a club. Pick up a game with friends and family.
  • Check out options at your local parks and recreation center or at a health club or school.
  • Try: basketball, tennis, soccer, football or flag football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball or softball, Ultimate Frisbee, swimming, dancing, cheerleading, volleyball, wrestling, track.
Play, play, play. Do more good old-fashioned, active play. No rules, no structure. Just have fun!
  • Play tag, hopscotch, red rover, or kickball.
  • Throw a ball.
  • Chase the dog.
  • Look for bugs or play with dolls.
  • Build things -- towers of blocks, snowmen, or fortresses.
  • Spend time at a playground, skate park, or recreation center.
  • Jump rope.
Make it a family affair. Don't go it alone. Make family activities part of your weekly routine.
  • Do regular, active chores: vacuuming, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, sweeping the floor, washing windows.
  • Take walks together after dinner.
  • Play Ping-Pong, Frisbee, badminton, or croquet.
  • Find active indoor games like Twister or balloon volleyball.
  • Go bowling or mini-golfing.

Continue Learning about Family Health

Don’t Let the News Hurt Your Health
Don’t Let the News Hurt Your Health
From train wrecks and earthquakes to wars and killer diseases, round-the-clock TV news delivers the world’s most harrowing horrors right to your livin...
Read More
How can I involve my kids in creating a family mission statement?
Lynne KenneyLynne Kenney
Invite the children to the dining table or the den or any place that feels comfortable to all of...
More Answers
How can I create a family mission statement?
Lynne KenneyLynne Kenney
If you have a partner, I recommend beginning with him or her first, just the grown-ups for now. Or y...
More Answers
Why You Should Eat Dinner as a Family
Why You Should Eat Dinner as a Family

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.