How to get into shape
How Not To Be A Couch Potato Anymore!
If you start making a note of how long you spend on your “oh-so-comfy” leather couch, you will be surprised to see that it is fit to be qualified as a “dangerous” amount of time. There are numerous studies linking inactivity to serious heart conditions. Not only that such lethargy can be severely addictive and lead to depression. While the damage done to your physical body is great, the image one conjures of a couch-potato is that of a lazy, overweight and job-slacking kind of a person. Obesity is now being seen in as young kids, as young as 5 and 6-year-old children. What is astonishing is that the previous generation did not seem to be grappling with these kinds of issues. So, how and when did this transformation take place?
Over the last few decades, we have seen technology give us comforts that could have only been imagined in dreams or seen in movies. We have the most comfortable chairs and sofas made in the finest of leather, we have TV’s giving us high-quality images and movies, we have soft beds that allow us to sink in and fall into a deep blissful sleep, our kitchens are equipped with gadgets to make every job easier. The stores are stocked with so many ready-to-eat food options that we are only ingesting unhealthy and zero-nutrition food. With so many things making our lives more comfortable, we have forgotten the most basic thing we humans need to do and that is – MOVE! We have forgotten how to move. Our bodies have become lazier and less equipped to perform any physically demanding job.
So, how can we shake ourselves from this rut? How do we recognize that as human beings our basic need has always been to be on the move and be physically active? It’s not all downhill for those wanting to change the status from being a couch potato to a more active person. It is possible and it can be done. Sometimes it is more of a mind game than a physical one. So, all you need to do is to trick your mind into activity. One important thing that will get it to go in that direction is – do something that you love rather than follow instructions blindly.
So, how can you make the change? A few tips to get you started on a journey that will not only improve your health and keep you away from diseases but will make you sharper and a more confident person.
- Get a move on: This is probably the most critical stage of the transformation. It is important that you start moving. That can be taking your dog for a walk every day at the same time, watering your garden and walking around the neighborhood, taking the stairs to your desk every day morning and skipping the elevator. How you want to do it is up to you but what is essential is to get a 30 minutes’ walk in every day (if you find that 30 minutes at one stretch will not work for you, break it up and do it at various times in the day). If you continue this for a few weeks, you are most likely to see a change in your breathing and your general demeanor. It is important to make it a routine and a habit that you will not give up for anything. If you have had trouble keeping this kind of a schedule or doing something repeatedly, look for a partner- someone who can walk with you or hold you accountable for your misses. This will ensure that you do not fail in the first stage.
- Plan, Plan, Plan: The next stage is to get with a program. This maybe alone or with a friend. You should choose a program or a plan that will work for you. This can be based on inspiration from someone close to you as well. There is a lot of information about fitness programs or aids used by celebrities. For instance, waist trainers are being used extensively to reduce the waist size. While its benefits are numerous- reduction in waist size and your frame automatically adjusts to become an hour-glass figure, it is strongly advised that it should be used in conjunction with an exercise program to strengthen your core muscles.
The success of any program will depend on how well you are prepared for the challenge. It is important that you chalk out a plan (even if it is a rough one) of what you plan to achieve and how long you plan to give yourself. Make sure you read up about the choices you have for workouts. Technology has given us many benefits and one amongst that is the availability of information. Read up about all the diets or the workouts that you plan to adopt. Maintaining a log of your workouts and your diet is extremely helpful in helping you understand and appreciate your progress.
- Fitness Program: Once you have mastered the above, you are all set to move on to the next level. Ensure you sign up for a membership at a local gym or the YWCA. This will keep you motivated (it is important to pay for a membership as it keeps your eye fixed on the goal- without the money factor, it is easy to postpone your workout and before you know you have fallen in a rut again). Sign up for classes which interest you. Group sessions are a blessing- the pressure of performance alone will make you go and give your 100%. Another plus of technology is the availability of apps and gadgets that will allow you to track your progress. For instance, to become part of this increasing group of people who run, you can download an app called C25K which will train you over a period of 9 weeks to be able to run 5K and that itself is motivation. So, make use of technology to help you in your purpose and you will have lesser chances to fail.
Fitness is a journey that you should undertake to better yourself. It is not a competition but a challenge to do better than what you have been. Being physically fit will help you perform better in all other aspects of your life.