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How I Tackled The Couch Potato Demon

Updated on November 24, 2013
Are You A Couch Potato?
Are You A Couch Potato? | Source

Time To Burn The Calories

I never thought of myself as a Couch Potato. I believe I have lived a very active life. My parents taught me how to walk, and gave me many opportunities in the movement arts, such as dancing, and I tried many forms of sports, such as Swimming, Tennis, Skating, Judo, Skiing, Volleyball, Badminton, Bicycling, and every sport that was offered in school, such as Basketball, Gymnastics, Field Hockey. I even tried golfing, loved playing miniature golf, and I even tried horseback riding. I even climbed trees, and pretended being a tightrope walker, on the neighborhood wall. My childhood was full of activity. So I was never obese as a young person, and I appeared to be strong.

As I got to be an adult, I still wanted to be active, not just for fun, but I knew I needed to stay in shape and burn the calories. I joined a health spa, thinking I could work out on their exercise equipment, such as treadmill, stationary bike, bench press, rower, a pec dec (which is for the upper body arms and chest). I also joined for short term exercise groups with aerobic dance exercise and Tai chi movements. My Dad brought home exercise equipment for all of us to work on. Staying active with Skiing, Water skiing, and bicycling and taking long walks helped a lot.

Life Changes That Influenced My Physical Activity

When I got into my thirties and I was quite busy with 40+ hours on the nursing home floor working as a Charge Nurse, and then coming home to care for two babies and a household, my interest in physical exercise routine became slim. My days off walking in the park or the zoo with the children in a double baby stroller or wading in the kiddie pool with them in the summer time was the most I could do. With late arrivals to home and the children already having a long day at Grandma's, we got quite comfortable on the big comfy couch. Many a night, I would fall asleep with my son asleep atop my chest. I would wake up to the sense of his Daddy pulling him off of me in order to take him to bed. When the kids got too big to sleep on top of me, we chose to let them "camp out" on the floor on mats until they were asleep, and then Daddy would pick them up one at a time, and put them to bed.

I think that is when I felt that my body metabolism was changing, and my fatigue from long work days and short nights at home caused the couch potato effect. Coupled with changes in my appetite, I had to make provisions in my day to put some energy foods on my list. I started reading food labels to make sure I was getting the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and finding how to lessen the fat. Eating on a budget back then was not as challenging as it is now, since I changed my diet completely.

The Importance Of Regular Exercise

I stopped my favorite sports due to injuries that I had endured during that time. I obtained a pair of 3 pound dumb bells to strengthen my upper arms. I continued to use my Dad's home gym equipment until it became in need of repair. I love to dance, so every opportunity I have a chance to dance, I do!

To give advise on how one should plan on including exercise in their lifestyle, I would have to suggest that it is wise to be aware of what your physician recommends. Everyone is different from each other. So discussing this with a health provider is helpful. Picking out the recreational activity is highly individualistic.

Some people love the outdoors, and some insist on being inside. I was impressed one time that I saw a group of seniors gather at a local mall to start a pace walk. They would walk the entire circumference of the inside of the mall until they walked a whole mile. They were really into it, wearing colorful jogging suits, and new athletic shoes, and some even had pedometers on their sleeves to calculate their distance. So I would discuss the exercise plan with a doctor.

Keeping Records

Write down progress of your activity and weight changes is a very good way of tracking the progress of your new lifestyle. Don't hesitate to include your meal plans as well. Seeing the progress is a pat on your back, so don't hesitate to congratulate yourself on every pound you lose.

I hope that I was able to inspire those who are battling with the decision to lose weight. It is not easy, and especially when health conditions are involved. Most conditions of the heart, lungs, joints, and muscles are influenced by one's nutritional habits. So be wise and focus on what you can do that is right.


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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very good hub Christina! Exercise in any way, shape of form is vital for our health. The more active one is the better. There are so many simple routines to incooperate into each day. Keep up the great work!:)

    • Dee42 profile image

      Dee42 6 years ago from Beautiful Arkansas

      There's nothing finer than sitting in my recliner. Really liked your Hub, it hit home, I know how hard Nursing is. Voted up.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I tend to hibernate during the winter months and when Spring comes I am out and about. By July I am hill training and easily running up to 10K. I jump off storm walls with my kids into the Irish Sea and behave like a teenager until autumn comes again and I turn into a old man of 90. Weird but true. A great hub full of your honest down to earth energy and practical advice.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 6 years ago

      I think it is easy to fall into a rut -- we are busy, tired, doing for others . . . but the best gift for ourselves and our families is to be healthy. Thanks for the great reminders!

    • Becky Puetz profile image

      Becky 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Great story and ideas, thanks for sharing.

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      For most of my life I did not intentionally exercise except for school requirements. Although I was still very active as a child.

      I, now in my 40's, am not shedding the weight like I used to when I was younger. I started jogging about 9 months ago. When I began I could only run for 30 seconds. I am now up to 1 1/2 miles.

      The couch potato thing is an easy trap to fall into especially when life gets busy like yours did.

      Useful article.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      You're right. I'm off to do the treadmill!