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Coaxing the Couch Potato

Posted on August 25, 2022 | No Comments on Coaxing the Couch Potato

Having the luxury of a 21-inch flatscreen television, laptop, game console, and other gadgets and devices all at an arm’s reach is considered heaven for many as the hot and humid Philippine weather foils any intent to move about. Hitch seeps in the instant you start living in the same setup each day; having lesser and lesser movement involved.

Meant to move
The body was meant for movement and the more it moves, the stronger and healthier it becomes. Unlike automobiles or machines where parts, when constantly used, get worn out and “conk out,” the human body has the ability to repair and heal itself and gets even better after a few days of rest.

But very much like automobiles and machines, that when left stagnant and unused for so long, get rusty and eventually bound for trash, our bodies in sedentary states can easily acquire various ailments and diseases that might eventually lead to more complications and even death, explained Mike Adams in his article Sedentary Lifestyle Causes More Deaths than Smoking.

A study by the American College of Sports Medicine found that among an estimated 650 children and adult aged 10 to 24, those who indulged in sedentary living were more likely to have stiffer arteries, which amps their chances of acquiring high blood pressure and heart ailments, compared to those who moved about and were physically active. Thus, leading a sedentary lifestyle, or being a couch potato for that matter, is a lot more treacherous and can cause more fatalities than smoking, according to the University of Hong Kong and its Department of Health.

Here’s another reason to get up and go: those that are less physically active were reported to have type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity-caused diseases in a study led by Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Elaine Morrato. In the study, about 23,000 respondents were made to answer whether or not they engaged in physical activity for 30 minutes, thrice a week. It was found that only 39 percent of adults with diabetes engaged in physical acitiviiy compared to 58 percent who did not have diabetes. Among those who did not have the disease but had risk factors for it, the researchers found that the more the risk factors, the less likely the people were to be active.

Jump start
“Physical activity gets everything moving in your body…Physical exercise is extremely beneficial to the human body, and in fact the body won’t live nearly as long without it,” said Adams. “Studies also show that it doesn’t take an enormous amount of physical exercise to achieve health-enhancing results”. “A mere 30 minutes a day of walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, or other cardiovascular exercise can have astounding positive health effects.”

Fitness buffs and gurus alike have suggested that couch potatoes are not necessarily required to be separated from their beloved tellies and gadgets just so they could have a headstart at exercising. In fact, kinesiologist Shari Feuz said that “It is absolutely possible to improve your fitness level in front of the TV, if the intensity is adequate, just as it is quite possible to go to a fitness center several times per week and NOT improve your fitness level.”

Linda Buch, author of Commercial Break Workout: Trim and Tone Two Minutes at a Time, suggests that you maximize commercial breaks by doing some floor or wall pushups; squats with or without the aid of a chair; and jogging or marching in place. Pat Woellert, a fitness instructor from the University of Cincinnati, urges one to try doing bicep curls, side and front arm raises, and shoulder presses using stacks of books or cans while sifting in the comforts of your chair.

It is, therefore, advisable and ideal that couch potatoes, who are colloquially defined as inactive persons who spend most of their time lounging around or in front of the television, get a kick start at moving before everything’s too late. “People ask, ‘How can I avoid all of these diseases without actually having to do the exercises? Is there a way that I can get the benefits of this physical exercise without having to move my body?’ And the answer to that is simply, ‘No,” said Adams in Natural News. “You have to actually do it if you want to get the benefits from it. No one can do it for you, no prescription drugs can give you the same effects, no surgical procedure can create the health that your body would create on its own when you engage in regular physical exercise. This is something you must pursue on your own if you desire to experience the positive health results it offers.

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