- Exercise & Fitness
How I Tackled The Couch Potato Demon
- How I Tackled The Food Demon
While I was growing up in my parents' home, I was made aware of how important a nutritious diet is. My Mom is the first person I knew in my life who made provisions in her life to modify her diet. I grew up...
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.
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.