From Couch Potato To Fitness Fan: 6 Steps You Need To Take
Okay, we get it!
Thanks to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the glut of other streaming services available today (as well as our normal TV packages), there is a greater tendency to steer towards a lazy lifestyle than anything approaching healthy wellbeing. Then there are the video games we play, the smartphones that remain perpetually in our hands, and feelings of exhaustion after finishing work; all factors towards a couch potato lifestyle.
For all we know, you're sat on your couch now, with one eye on this article and another eye on the TV screen, watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead or American Housewife, while chomping on popcorn or some other savory (or sweet) delight.
But here's the thing.
By living life as a couch potato, you are putting your health at risk. As examples:
- An inactive lifestyle can lead to increased weight gain and problems with obesity.
- With decreased blood circulation and elevated levels of cholesterol, you are putting yourself at risk of heart disease.
- You are weakening your bone muscles, putting you at risk of such chronic diseases as arthritis and osteoporosis, that might later require hospital treatment, such as hip replacement surgery and spinal repairs.
- Your mental health is also at risk because depression can become a real issue when you're not getting the mood-enhancing benefits of fresh air and exercise.
So, what greater incentive do you need to get off your sofa?
To make a positive change in your life, you should focus on a fitter lifestyle. We aren't telling you to become a master athlete or a complete fitness fanatic, but you might still take steps to do more exercise than you might be at the moment.
Consider the following then, and make the necessary changes if you have started to resemble both a literal and metaphorical couch potato.
Step 1: Cut down on your TV shows
Do you need every streaming service? Are you passionate about every show you watch? Cut back where you can, as you will then have less need to sit in front of the box each day.
Step 2: Think about the hobbies you used to enjoy
They don't have to be sporty hobbies, as any pastime that got you off the couch is good enough. Gardening? Walking? Dancing? Consider the enjoyment you used to have, along with all of the benefits that you experienced, and then make a plan to return to the hobbies you enjoyed.
Step 3: Think about the hobbies that you might enjoy
Many of us put off exercise because we think it's a chore. And to be honest, it can be, especially when we limit ourselves to activities that don't do much for our enjoyment levels. So, after considering the hobbies you used to do, think about those activities that you have always wanted to try but haven't thus far.
Rock climbing? Mountain biking? Scuba diving? Whether it's a traditional hobby or something against the norm, think about those things that might excite you, and then look for opportunities to try them.
Step 4: Buddy up with somebody else
If you're lacking in willpower, then you really should find somebody to partner up with. By doing so, you will then have somebody around to motivate you when you feel like giving up, and you will also up the fun factor, as you will have somebody to banter and socialize with. So, grab a friend and join the gym or do a fitness class together.
Do something with your partner, such as going for more romantic walks in the evening, or taking part in a shared hobby that you will both enjoy. And even buddy up with your kids; go on shared family bike rides, or play active games in your garden or the local park.
Step 5: Find something to do every day
If you can find a hobby that you can do every day, then great. And if you need somebody to buddy up with, and they can take part in activities with you on a daily basis, then that's fantastic! However, if you have ruled both of those things out, then you should find something that you can do every day on your own. So, you might start putting together a home gym, perhaps by investing in a few simple pieces of equipment, such as a dumbbell and a skipping rope.
You might want to bookmark a few exercise videos on YouTube too, so you can take part in some simple moves in front of your TV. Or you might simply plan on taking a walk around the block a couple of times a day, going further (and faster) when you have started to increase your capacity for exercise.
Step 6: Set yourself motivational goals
To ensure you don't lose motivation, think about any goals you might want to reach. You might simply want to lose a few pounds, so do a daily checkup on the weighing scales to see how you are progressing. You might also want to challenge yourself with the number of steps you take each day, so buy a FitBit to keep track of how many you are doing.
Or you might have life goals, such as having the opportunity to fit into certain outfits or being fit enough to give you more energy for playing with the kids. No matter what your goals are, keep them in mind, find ways to monitor your progress, and let them motivate you on those days that you are tempted to give it all up for ice cream and a day spent entirely in front of the TV.
There's nothing wrong with watching television for some of your time. There will be days when you need to put your feet up and rest. But if you forever live the life of a couch potato, you will put yourself at risk, and that is no good for you or for those who love and depend on you. Today then, get off the couch and do something else with your time.
Become a fitness fan, and engage in some kind of exercise. You will feel the benefits if you do, and this includes having the lifespan to watch more of The Walking Dead instead of slowly resembling them through poor health that would otherwise ensue!