Physical Exercise: How to move from being a Couch Potato to Walking
How does physical exercise and "couch potato" relate to one another? In this article, couch potato is a reference to a person who is not involved with any form of exercising.
This person may make excuses for not moving their bodies and may partake in unhealthy behavior (i.e., eating improperly, smoking, drinking, etc.) when not exercising. Whatever the reason may be, it is vital to get involved in some form exercise.
In this article, walking is suggest, because it is an easy form of physical exercise that can be leaned.
- Why you don’t exercise - excuses, excuses, excuses. Many reasons are given for not exercising. Some may have valid concerns.
You may have health issues – if the doctor said "no," then don’t exercise. Make sure you ask your health professional questions about your ability to exercise. See my article on Are you asking the right health questions?
Some have started exercise routines before and injured themselves and are afraid to do it again. Reading my article on Exercise: Three Warnings may be helpful in preventing injuries.
Then there are some that just don’t want to do anything. They love not moving and love the way they look. Statements such as “I am not hurting anyone but myself;” “I love the way my body looks;” and “I’m not trying to please anyone but me” can be the words of those who simply don't want to exercise.
The article on Do you really understand that your body is the temple of God? should help some understand that it is bigger than you.
So let's do away with the excuses and start doing some form exercise routine. Below is a practical way of how to move from being a couch potato to a walker.
Before we get into that, let’s look at some benefits of walking.
Weight Loss - just like any other form of physical exercise, walking can have great benefits to the couch potato. Walking helps with weight loss. For every mile walked, an adult of approximately 180 pounds loses 100 calories. You may not burn the 3,500 calories need to lose one pound; however, if you are consistent, the weight will come off.
Lowering your blood pressure - is another benefit of walking. Many couch potatoes have elevated blood pressure readings. The normal blood pressure should be 140/80 but many of those who don’t do any physical exercises have readings that are 150/90 and above.
High blood pressure is a silent killer. It must be controlled. In addition to walking, not smoking, limiting caffeine, limiting alcohol, and avoiding illegally drugs are ways to control your pressure.
There are many other benefits of walking that can be found on EMedTV. Just give walking, a great form of physical exercise, a try and you will be surprised at the results.
How to move from being a couch potato to walking
Give Me 5: A simple way to get started
If couch potatoes are serious about doing physical exercise, they may want to start off with 5 minutes. It is important to do baby steps first. Get up off the couch.
Put on some comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. Take some deep breaths in and blow them out. Go outside and walk one way for 2 ½ minutes and turn around and walk back home. Do this 3 times a week for a week.
Give me 10: Add five minutes to your routine
After the first week, you should feel comfortable going a little further. Remember to listen to your body. If you need to do week one for a couple of weeks, do it, but don’t be lazy. It is easy to fall back from doing physical exercise to being a couch potato.
The next step is to walk 5 minutes away and turn around and go back. You may enjoy trying to walk around the block. Be careful not to do too many hills in these beginning stages. Remember to do this 3 times a week and try to do this for two weeks.
Give me 15: Add five more until you reach the 30 minute goal
At this phase, you should no longer feel like you are unable to do physical exercises. Adding five more minutes may not seem like a lot, but it is getting to the halfway mark. Remember that the goal is to continue to add five minutes to the routine for a week or two until you get to thirty minutes.
Tips for moving from a couch potato to walking:
- Make sure you eat right
- Make sure you wear comfortable clothing
- Learn to stretch before and after you walk
- Get a good pair of walking or running shoes
- Drink water before and after you walk
- Try to get a buddy if that works for you (see Will the buddy system work for you? for a helpful article)
After you have successfully walked thirty minutes three times a
week for a month or two, you will feel and look great. You will find yourself wanting to challenge yourself to do different forms of movement.
It may seem hard to move from being a couch potato to a walker, but it is not impossible. Take it slow and easy.
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