Going to the movies is a fun pastime that provides an escape from the real world and immerses you in a larger-than-life story. However, it is a sedentary activity that often involves unhealthy snacks. You can improve your experience at the movie theater with these five health hacks.
1. Bring Your Snacks
Movie theaters are infamous for prohibiting outside snacks from entering their venue, but have you actually tried it? Most aren’t going to search your purse or mall bag, so unless you make it obvious, you won’t have to get rid of your treats.
When you bring snacks, you can choose healthier options than theaters offer. Even if a venue has healthy food, you’d have to pay ridiculous prices to enjoy them. Some healthy treats you can bring from home include low-carb popcorn, pretzels, fruit slices, fresh vegetables and smoothies.
2. Sit Mid-Theater
Where do you typically sit in a movie theater? You can have a healthier experience by sitting near the center row.
If you sit too close to the screen, you could crane your neck to see the small details. Doing this for an extended period could lead to stiffness and neck pain, which can prevent you from enjoying other activities. However, sitting in the back row could make you strain your eyes to see everything the movie has to offer, leading to dry eyes and headaches.
3. Sit On An Aisle
Sitting in the middle of the seating row can be tempting, but sitting on the aisle still provides a great view and is a healthier option. When you sit there, you can leave the theater to go to the bathroom or get a drink when you sit there, helping you feel your best. You can stand up next to your seat, stretch out your legs and walk around without bothering the other patrons in the theater. This helps you stay active during a lengthy film.
4. Plan Your Bathroom Break
Many people have to go to the bathroom during a movie. You might have to go if you have a health condition or fill your bladder with drinks throughout the film. Your bladder can only hold so much and if you don’t empty it when you have the urge, it can lead to damage. About 16% of the adult population have overactive bladder symptoms, up to around 42 million people in the United States alone.
If you have symptoms of the condition, you likely won’t be able to sit through hours in a theater. Planning your bathroom break can help you leave at a time during the movie that doesn’t cause you to miss necessary story elements. Films typically require some buildup. Leaving to go to the bathroom at the end of the first act — once you know the main characters and the central conflict — can help you make it through.
5. Move In Your Seat
Sitting for several hours in one position can increase the risk of stiffness and even blood clots. Moving your body — particularly your legs — during the movie can help prevent these issues from happening.
Being in a dark movie theater can also make you sleepy, discouraging you from being active afterward. Moving around some throughout the movie can keep your energy levels up and encourage you to stay active for the rest of your day. You can move your legs closer and away from your body, cross and uncross your arms, and arch and relax your back.
Having A Healthy Movie Experience
How you spend your free time contributes to your overall health. Choosing a healthier movie theater experience can nourish your body and mind while relaxing and having fun.