Let’s talk about numbers for a minute. People spend 93 percent of their time indoors, 87percent inside and 6percent in the car.

And when it comes to indoor activities, one thing that takes up a majority of our time is watching — and more often than not binge watching — movies and television shows: 93.8 million Netflix subscribers watched 42.5 billion streaming hours of Netflix in 2015. (Yes, that’s billion with a “B.”)

Netflix has revolutionized the way we watch TV. No longer do we have the patience to wait for a single new episode to premiere once a week. No longer do we have the patience to sit through five full minutes of commercials. No longer are we limited to watching and re-watching all of the DVDs we own.

And while that all makes it very tempting to spend all of our time outside of classes and work in front of our TVs, phones, or computers watching Netflix so we can catch up on all our favorite movies and television shows, we have to face that there are even more things we can be doing that don’t involve Netflix at all.

I know it can be hard to tear yourself away from the screen. There’s always a new movie you haven’t seen (or one you haven’t seen in years), or a television show you didn’t have time to watch while it was on regular TV but you know if you just sit down and do nothing else for the next two days, you’ll be caught up to everyone else.

READ MORE  How To Support Your Friends' Goals (and Why It's Important)

Whatever your reason for binging may be, it’s important to remember that there are other things out there to do besides binge watching Netflix, that will keep you from turning into a couch potato and transform you into a happier, healthier, and more productive version of yourself.

[clickToTweet tweet=”5 Things To Do Beside Binge Watching Netflix” quote=”5 Things To Do Beside Binge Watching Netflix”]

Here are five things to do besides binge watching Netflix:

1. Read a book.

Choose one for pleasure, that you can get lost in just as easily as a Netflix binge, or choose one for professional purposes, to expand your mind and sharpen your skills.

Either way, reading offers immense benefits toward your health and happiness.

Need some book suggestions? Here are a few of our favorites:

2. Go outside and get some fresh air.

This might sound like an obvious one, but it really does benefit you to spend some time outdoors.

And studies show we aren’t doing that nearly enough: A recent EPA study found that the average American spends only 7 percent of their entire lives outdoors!

READ MORE  4 Things I Have Learned During My First Year As an Expat

Head out for a walk around your neighborhood and check out the local park. Ask a friend, sibling, parent or significant other to join you for some quality time.

You could even make it a larger goal by trying to visit all of these national parks, participating in the 52 hike challenge or signing up for a fun run.

[clickToTweet tweet=”5 Things To Do Beside Binge Watching Netflix” quote=”5 Things To Do Beside Binge Watching Netflix”]

3. Hit the gym.

Use the time you’d normally spend watching an episode of your favorite show by getting some exercise instead.

You’ll feel happier and healthier, and burn off the calories you normally consume when you’re mindlessly binge watching your favorite shows (and binge eating your favorite snacks).

4. Invite your friends over for a board game night.

Have everyone bring their favorite board game and a snack, and rather than put on a movie or television show, put on some music and just enjoy each other’s company.

5. Go out for dinner and drinks with your friends.

Take turns choosing new restaurants and bars to try. Explore the city you’re in and all it has to offer.  You might be surprised how many hidden gems your town or city actually has to do!

READ MORE  3 Reasons Why Discipline Trumps Motivation

These are just a few starter ideas. There are endless things that you can be doing besides watch Netflix, either for personal fun or professional development.

It’s really just a matter of finding better ways to make productive use of your free time that lets you unwind and leaves you feeling happier and healthier than a mindless Netflix binge.

Tell me, what’s your favorite way to unwind that doesn’t involve the screen?