According to researchers, the average American sits between 6 and 8 hours a day. And while no one can stand and move constantly, prolonged sitting has many adverse effects such as raising your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and death from any cause. To combat the issue, everyone should exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week and adopt healthier habits overall. Something much of the country fails to do—but you can be in the minority and prevent disease, have more energy and feel better. Here are 6 ways you can get fit and start changing your health for the better.
1. Set a clear, achievable goal. The process of changing a behavior starts with a goal. The key in starting is starting small. Choose something that you can achieve and will help you feel successful. Baby steps.
2. Use technology to keep you on track. If it’s hard to turn off the screen, set a timer or use the built-in devices that come on many handheld screens like tablets to set an amount of daily watch time. When that limit is met, the device will let you know and you’ll be done until the next day.
3. Swap sedentary time for activities you enjoy. If you spend much of your time on the couch or in doors in general, consider spending a bit more of that time doing other activities that get you out of the house. Check out this list of pleasant activities and try to find a couple you enjoy that will get you up and moving.
4. Be mindful of stress indulgence. Often, we will reward ourselves for little things we do or use those rewards to unwind. This may be a few beers or a tub of ice cream after a hard day. You don’t think about it because it makes you feel good but it can be a bad habit that will build over time.
5. Look at the science. To get started, consider a nutrigenomic test to identify what your body responds to best. By doing this, you can get the most out of your health choices.
6. Get a trainer or workout buddy. Having someone to keep you accountable on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep your progress on track. By having a trainer, they won’t let you indulge in your excuses and will work to keep you motivated. The down side is that it can be expensive. Having someone be your workout buddy can help if they have the same goals as you or want to help you meet your goals. By this partnership, you are helping each other make better health decisions.
The old quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is never more true than when you try to make lifestyle changes. Just remember that no matter how small a choice, every positive behavior you make adds up and that in the end you’ll be a healthier, happier person for giving up the couch potato lifestyle.