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Keeping fit the couch potato way

TV doesn’t exactly have a great rep when it comes to health, does it? Lying on the couch slobbing out, with high-fat low-fibre empty-calorie junk food in one hand and high-sugar additive-filled beverage in the other. With every episode of Lost, your arteries are getting furrier, your blood pressure’s rising (and it’s not because of Sawyer with his shirt off) and you’re inching closer to Type II diabetes.

Don’t you believe a word of it. TV is good for you.

Like all the other geeks in the Western world, I get tons of SF from Netflix or reasonable facsimile. (In New Zealand, where I live, it’s called Fatso. I try not to take that personally.) And also like all the other geeks in the Western world (apart from the freaks), I hate to exercise. Yes, yes, I know it’s very healthy. But there’s never a day when there aren’t a thousand other things I’d rather do.

But here’s the thing. The nearest mailbox is a half an hour’s round trip by foot. If I get the car out, I have to do a complicated life-threatening u-turn reversy thing on the busy road where the mailbox is. So when it comes to returning those lovely SF DVDs so you can get more, feet are the only way to go.

Lots of people enjoy walking. I’m not one of them. The boredom, having to slap on sublock, the boredom... did I mention the boredom? But the great thing about TV is, none of that matters. Do I want to go for a blood-pressure-lowering, cancer-preventing, weight-controlling thirty-minute walk? Uh, no, I’ll pass. Do I, on the other hand, want to see the next four episodes of Battlestar Galactica season two? Hell, yeah! It hasn’t even shown on New Zealand TV yet!

And that’s why TV is so healthy. I still don’t enjoy exercise, but now I don’t care. When a mere thirty-minute walk is all that’s keeping me away from more Adama, Starbuck et al, it’s a no-brainer. And the more TV I see, the healthier I get. Couch potato? Sure. But a couch potato steamed with no added fat, thank you very much.

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