Guest Blogger

Whether you’re starting a new job, transitioning from a full house to an empty nest, trying to lose twenty-five pounds, or struggling to stay within a grocery budget and feed your family healthy meals, sometimes life can be stressful. Even if you have a fantastic support system, there are times when all you want is some good, solid advice on how to handle it all.

Television shows dealing with health and wellness topics can provide that kind of supportive voice to those who are struggling to “have it all”, so to speak. The best shows out there, on a wide variety of topics connected to your overall health, can not only provide information but motivation to try something new or to stick to your goals.

Many shows do that by inspiring you with real-life stories. For instance, you may be motivated by watching the real life efforts of people on Heavy, A&E’s documentary series about obese people who work hard to change their lifestyle. Each hour-long episode features two people who spend time at a fitness camp learning new eating and exercising habits. Some episodes also follow their efforts at home, which is where the real struggle is. Just as in real life, some journeys are more successful than others, but it can be inspiring to see their efforts and to realize the different life factors that can compel weight gain and motivate weight loss.

Eating right is obviously not just a big a part of weight loss, but of overall good health. The Food Network is full of inspiring cooking shows, including shows that teach you to cook for good health, and the part is that nearly everyone has access to it through the most basic plans from your local cable provider. Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger brings you episodes with a nutritionist and dietician who gives you step-by-step how-to’s that will help you create healthy meals even if you think you don’t have the time. After all, we do know that food can play a major part in stress management.

Exercise goes hand in hand with eating right when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If humor inspires you, you might want to check out Are You Fitter Than A Senior? The show, on Discovery Fit & Health, gives a glimpse of what happens when four inactive teenagers move in with four very fit seniors and learn some new habits.

Sometimes finding ways to manage stress become priority. Yoga is a respected method of stress reduction and has many benefits, and when you watch Adrienne Rich’s Power Yoga: Mind & Body, a series on PBS, you’ll find opportunities to practice yoga that fits your specific skill level. Every half-hour episode includes students ranging from beginning to advanced levels. Even better, each episode highlights a particular area of the body, so you can spend time working your upper body, legs, or whatever area you feel needs the most attention.

Health issues can encompass a wide variety of issues. ITV’s Healthy Body, Healthy Mind series focuses on real people and the real issues they face in their everyday lives. If you have a health question, there’s a good chance they’ve covered it. Episode topics range from nutrition and exercise to healthy aging, insomnia and pain management. They also have episodes devoted to specific ailments, large and small. You’ll watch people learn to deal with common ailments like allergies or migraines, find new techniques for kicking the smoking habit, or learn to live with serious illnesses such as cancer, MS or Alzheimer’s.

We often think of watching television as a fun diversion, perhaps a form of stress relief in itself. But today’s health and wellness programming also provides real opportunities for self-education and motivation on a range of health issues.

Jared Hill, Freelance Blogger