By Chaya, selected from Networx
More from Care2 Green Living blog
(Photo: Getty Images)Perhaps the nation's "obesity epidemic" is something that can be cured by a few changes in home decoration. Well, maybe not cured, but certainly impacted.
It's well-known that lifestyle choices, such as what you eat, and how often you exercise can have a big impact on your waistline and your health. But making healthy choices isn't always easy.
Simple changes in how you organize your home can support your efforts to shed pounds. Here are nine home decorating ideas that could prevent obesity:
1. Place your television in a room without a couch.
This sounds ridiculous, I know, but it works. Laziness is something you can use to your advantage: If it takes effort or discomfort to sit and watch TV, you'll spend a lot less time doing it.
Put your TV in your unfurnished basement or attic. You'll spend a lot less time sitting and watching it and you'll transform your living room. The focal point of a living room without a TV is human interaction -- couches face each other, not the boob tube.
2. If you must keep your TV in the living room, unplug and cover it.
One thin woman I know keeps her TV unplugged and covered by a piece of decorative fabric, with a statue on top of it. She takes out the TV and watches a video once in a while, as a treat, and then unplugs it and covers it up again.
3. Keep food in the kitchen, not all over the house.
Eating for any reason other than intake of vitamins is the fastest ticket to obesity you can buy. Replace those decorative candy bowls with green plants or vases of fresh-cut flowers. Ditto for the office.
4. Decorate your kitchen with fruit.
If you're in overeating mode, you'll reach for whatever is available. Keep a colorful bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or table -- it doubles as decoration, is packed with nutrients, and is much lower in calories than the pint of premium ice cream in the freezer.
5. Make room for exercise.
This is reason in itself to declutter your house. Most people I know say they would do a little morning yoga or some push-ups and crunches, if only they had room to do it. So make room!
I live in a studio apartment -- not a large space -- but I have plenty of room to spread out my yoga mat because I decided to omit the ubiquitous coffee table from my floor plan. Evaluate which pieces of furniture are absolutely necessary, and give the others away. If you must, must have a large coffee table in your living space, put it on wheels so that you can push it out of the way.
6. Buy a basic kitchen timer.
Set a countdown timer with a loud ring when you are watching television and surfing the Internet. Get up and do yard work, house cleaning, or some other physical activity when the timer rings.
7. Make your home bicycle friendly.
Read Steve Graham's article on easy and cheap bike storage ideas, and reap the health benefits of biking.
8. Put your lights on timers.
It's hard to get up out of bed and exercise before work. When multiple alarm clocks didn't work for me, I put my lamps on timers. The lamps automatically turn on at 6 a.m. The light, in addition to my alarm clock, gets me out of bed early and onto my yoga mat.
9. Make your bed and keep your bedroom clean.
You are more likely to stay up late surfing the Internet and munching if your bedroom is a dark, messy cave. Simply making your bed, so that it looks inviting, will help you to break the late-night surfing/watching/snacking habit in favor of getting some digestion-restoring, metabolism-balancing beauty sleep.
Networx.com provides economical and earth-friendly renovation and home-repair advice.
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