Don’t Be an Active Couch Potato!

couchActive couch potatoes. They may seem as elusive as a unicorn, but they actually do exist and are more common than you think. In fact, runners are often deemed active couch potatoes. So, while you may think you are doing all you need to do in order to take care of your health through exercise you need to avoid falling into the active couch potato trap. Here’s how.

What is an Active Couch Potato?

When you think of a couch potato you probably think of someone who just snacks in front of a TV all day binge-watching Netflix (that’s easy to do!). The truth is that even if you meet the required amount of daily exercise, when you are sedentary for long periods during the day it can still be bad for your health. That’s what an active couch potato is – someone who exercises daily but still has long periods of no activity over the course of the rest of the day.

So, even if you exercise you have to be careful not to get too comfortable in thinking you are doing enough to stay healthy.

The Health Impacts of a Sedentary Lifestyle

The biggest risk factor of a sedentary lifestyle is weight gain, but it doesn’t just stop there. When you are sedentary for several hours a day it puts you at risk for several diseases, including:

  • Metabolic disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain types of cancers

Plus, sitting around for most of the day will make your muscles shorten and leave you feeling tight, with weaker abs and even poor posture. Tight muscles will only serve to decrease your mobility as you age – and mobility is one of the most important things to maintain in order to keep your body healthy as you get older.

How to Get Moving

So, aside from your daily routine at the gym what can you do to keep from being an active couch potato? Well, you can start by taking breaks throughout the day in order to move around. Just taking a 10-minute break every hour can improve your long-term health.

Some other things that may help include:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park your car farther away so you’re forced to walk.
  • Don’t use drive-thrus, go in!
  • Walk your dog more than once a day.
  • Stand when you talk on the phone.
  • Get a pedometer or a phone app to see how many steps you take per day and set a goal.

There are easy things you can do in order to keep moving throughout your day. Certainly, going to the gym is important, but so is the rest of your day. So, once you get moving make sure to stay that way!

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something with a corner view by Chris McInnis is licensed under CC BY 4.0

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.