It is easier to hit the couch than it is to hit the gym, but there is a price to pay for our sedentary ways. A Mayo Clinic study found that those who sat for more than 8 hours a day had a risk of dying similar to that posed by obesity and smoking.” That’s terrible news given that the average American adult sits more than at any other time in history.
Addiction is defined as repeatedly doing something despite the adverse consequences. By that definition, many of us are addicted to sitting. So, what can we can do to break the couch habit?
Schedule Exercise into Your Day: According to the American Council on Exercise we should be breaking a sweat at least 30 minutes a day. If you don’t schedule it, it won’t happen. If you can’t find a 30-minute block, break it down to three 10-minute sessions.
Stoke Your Dopamine: Dopamine is the hormone of motivation. Some ways to increase it naturally include:
1. Take a cold shower. It can boost your dopamine levels by as much as 250%.
2. Eat a balanced diet eliminating sugar and trans fats.
3. Supplement sensibly. Probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D and magnesium have all been shown to enhance dopamine production. Be sure to work with your health care provider to determine if certain supplements are right for you.
Intentionally Move More: Every little bit counts. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Set a timer to stretch and move ever hour on the hour. Go for a walk during your lunch break. Walk the dog daily.
Get a Fitness Tracker: A tracker will help you set goals and see progress.
Make it Fun: If you find reps with weights dreary, discover movement that is not: Gardening, tennis, swimming, hiking and golf are all great ways to enjoy the journey.
Do It with a Friend: You are more likely to show up, if someone is waiting on you.
Hire a Personal Trainer: Research has shown that encouragement and coaching can increase your chances of success. A personal trainer offers both.
Attend an Exercise Class: A group fitness class can be a great way to fit exercise into a schedule. The camaraderie increases the pleasure you gain from a regular exercise commitment.
Get Started Now. As one famous sport shoe brand puts it – “Just do it. “ Your body will thank you.