Are you a sedentary kind of busy lady? The risks of the “couch potato” mentality are far greater than weight gain. Research has proven that sedentary behavior can increase women’s risk for many diseases and possibly, early death.
Sitting on our gluteus maximus (butt) all day puts us at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and possibly colon and breast cancer. If those are not enough warnings, just imagine how sitting around and not being active can affect your muscles. They can literally start degenerating. Not only could a couch potato become sick; ladies, you can also suffer with a tight neck, shoulder and back muscles, weak abdominal muscles, poor posture and tight hips. These will eventually lead to decreased mobility, thus limiting your ability to move as fluidly as you’d like. Sitting for a long length of time has also been associated with poor blood circulation, swelling of ankles, varicose veins and sometimes, very dangerous blood clots.
Now that we know how to bring on such aliments, let’s consider the fact that there is a silver lining. There are very easy ways to get to moving throughout our day. Let’s consider replacing our couch potato time with multiple short breaks. This can help improve how many inches our waist must carry, as well as our insulin levels. The good news is that these benefits can happen even if the activity level of the break is light. Remember, every little bit counts.
So far we’ve discussed how being a couch potato can affect you physically, but I can tell you from firsthand experience that when I’m in a low mood, short movement breaks have worked wonders for my mental state, almost immediately. Working out has kept me out of divorce court and lock up. My muscles feel fabulous and I’m much more alert and productive. To increase your movement and “fix” your couch potato mentality, try to incorporate any of the activities below into your day. As time goes on and you start to feel more alert and energetic, you may be able to do several of the suggested activities. Let’s think healthy and get to moving:
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up from the couch or your desk and move every 60 minutes.
- Keep a smaller bottle of water at your desk or by your side so that you will have to get up more frequently and walk to go get more.
- When you are going to the grocery store, don’t drive around for 20 minutes looking for a parking spot right inside the doors. Find the parking spot furthest away from the door so that you can power walk to the door.
- Instead of sitting in the conference room, hold walking business meetings.
- Ban the use of drive-thru dining. Power walk to the counter and back to your car.
- Use a cordless or mobile phone and walk around your house while holding your conversation.
- Instead of texting your kids to come downstairs and do their chores, run or power walk up the stairs and go get them.
See, ladies. There is life beyond the couch. It’s all about mind over matter. Remember, even when it seems like impossible circumstances for becoming physical, where there is a will…there’s a way. Let’s give the “couch” a boot and get movin’ ladies!