5 Ways to Get Fit for Couch Potatoes

The idea of working toward fitness goals may seem daunting. Like some huge insurmountable plan that the average person can never enact. And let’s face it, not all of us are couch potatoes without reason. Mobility and health issues impact some of us and can make our journey to fitness more challenging. But there are some great ways, and important reasons, to work toward getting fit no matter where you're starting from or what might be holding you back. 

Fitness Motivation

Looking for some great reasons to focus on improving fitness? Here are five to consider:

  1. Burn off the day’s energy. Among the biggest reasons to get fitter and move more is to burn off the energy of the day. Doing so may lead to more relaxation and better sleep. Exercise can also help us process worries and concerns so they don’t linger on our minds, leading us not just to better sleep but a more relaxed state the rest of the time. 
  2. Make more serotonin and feel better. When we exercise, we make more “feel good” chemicals in our brains. Serotonin is just one of them, but there are others, as well. Moving more can help boost levels of the chemicals that might help reduce anxiety and lift depression.
  3. Restore a sense of control. Sometimes, life can feel unpredictable and out of control. But moving and focusing on fitness is something we can have more control over. And feeling like we have a handle on something may help us take back control in other areas of life for a great win-win.
  4. Lull anxiety through repetition and rhythm. For anxious people, rhythm and repetition may reduce nervousness and worry. It may also help to exercise right when we're trying to avoid encroaching anxiety or need to work through those feelings of impending doom that can precede some forms of anxiety. Much like rocking a baby to sleep, a repetitive exercise can be soothing.
  5. Divide day and night activities. Especially for people who work from home or otherwise don’t have a hard divide between the workday and the evening/night times, an exercise or fitness program may function as a way to divide daytime and nighttime activities.

5 Ways Couch Potatoes Can Get Fit

Along with all the reasons to get fit, it may help to take these ways to attain fitness into account. It's not always just grinding away hours on the track or o the exercise bike. There's much more to fitness than a one-dimensional plan that you have to force yourself into. Here are five ways to get started: 

  1. Make exercise fun. If an exercise is boring, most of us won’t keep doing it. That’s why it’s so important to find the kinds of fitness options we like, so we have a higher chance of sticking to them. Find a fun activity, such as swimming or dance, and use that to encourage movement. Variety can also help boost the entertainment factor. It's okay to use that exercise bike when it's raining but whenever you can, try getting out on the trails with a mountain bike for some fitness and a change of scenery. Or trade in the treadmill and hit the streets at least sometimes.
  2. Choose secondary gain opportunities. Look for ways to increase activity levels that don’t feel like exercise, such as cleaning out a closet, mopping a floor, painting a room or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. They may not give us the same kind of workout as a gym, so we should still hit the hard workout every day, but secondary gains can make a real difference over time as they're still good for moving muscles and burning calories.
  3. Add some incentives. Rewarding ourselves is a great way to get more accomplished. There’s nothing wrong with bribing ourselves to get more done, as long as our rewards are healthy and won’t set us back in our fitness goals or other areas of life. Instead of using unhealthy food incentives, consider buying new clothes, getting a manicure or putting money into a vacation fund. 
  4. Use short bursts throughout the day. A short burst of exercise may be an excellent way to start on a fitness journey. There’s no need to work out for hours at a time. Five, 10, or 15 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day, may add up to big rewards for anyone who wants to be more fit. And as you increase each session a little at a time, you'll be reaping big rewards as the tiny increase adds up when multiplied by three or four times per day.
  5. Find an exercise buddy. Having someone to exercise with may help us stay focused and interested in the process. That may be someone in our household, a nearby friend, or even someone online who lives halfway around the world. Nearly anyone can help. Whether we call it accountability, or "misery loves company," having someone there to talk to makes everything more fun.

As with all changes, we get a lot further when we remember that consistency is key and make sure to start slow, dial it up over time, and keep going. IF all you can do right now is walk to the end of your driveway and back, then do that every day. And soo u can do it twice or three times every day. Then try to extend the distance, but just keep doing it. Half the battle is showing up. The rewards are huge, but they don't come right away or all at once. From more complex workout routines to wheelchair yoga, there are mobility-limited exercises and full-range-of-motion options that can be done by almost everyone. So maybe it's time to start getting excited about what you can do if you start with a little today and keep showing up every day from here on. Whaddaya say?

Copyright 2021, Wellness.com

8/3/2022 4:00:00 AM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. Wellness.com helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
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