Published: Dec 29, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Dec 29, 2012 02:34 PM
December throws many of us into the midst of holiday madness, and my inclination is to eat too many cookies and seek escape through the TV and computer.
I can spend hours running down rabbit holes on-line, doing research, reading Facebook or simply answering e-mails. Many of us today spend more time than is healthy sitting in front of the TV, pad, computer or texting away on our phones.
The December message of the Orange County Healthy Carolinians, Eat Smart Move More campaign is Tame the Tube. I expand that notion and say Tame the Screens!
Turn off your devices for a while and get up and move. Take a walk outside under the bright sunshiny winter sky, go to a trail along a greenway or through the woods, there are no ticks, chiggers or hot weather to bother you at this time of year.
Give your self time to get away from the craziness of holiday shopping and preparations and just move, breath and let your mind rest for a while.Engage the kids
If you have children at home, get them away from those screens too.
Engage them in helping to prepare a healthy supper and by all means sit at the table and eat dinner together and discuss the days events; dont plop down in front of the TV to eat staring into the blue void.
If the weather is bad, consider making crafts, homemade gifts, or try some fun family indoor exercise like ice or roller skating, bowling or swimming. Break out the Twister or make up your own games.
After dinner if its clear and not too cold, bundle up the whole family and head outside for a short jaunt around the neighborhood and take a look up.
The night time sky is often clear and the stars and moon brighter than during the hazy nights of summer. See if you can pick out a few winter constellations like Orion or find the planet Jupiter, extremely large and bright in the eastern evening sky. You can download a free sky map for each month at skymaps.com
. Treat yourself to some hot cider when you come back inside.Set some rules
Set-up some household rules and limits about how many hours are allowed for TV, videos games and computer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one to two hours of quality TV and videos a day for older children and no screen time for children under the age of 2. For every hour of TV or computer time, plan 15 to 30 minutes of physical activity. Plan your TV time, watch quality shows with your children and remove TVs from the bedrooms. Life is short, dont waste it all staring at a screen, look at each other for a change and enjoy the beautiful world around you, together.
Healthy Carolinians of Orange County is sponsoring a consistent messaging campaign based on Eat Smart Move More from now through March 2013.
To find out more about each months theme and download helpful fliers and recipes, visit the Healthy Carolinians website at co.orange.nc.us/healthycarolinians/index.asp