4. Get off the couch
Everyone goes through phases where they just can’t be bothered to get off the couch. When the weather is bad, or you’ve had a long day at work, the last thing you want to do when you get home is exercise. Unfortunately, this is a particularly bad habit that can eventually lead to weight gain, depression and some illnesses. Leading an inactive lifestyle has been proven to be a major cause of some chronic diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, arthritis and more.
Watching too much TV wastes time that could be spent getting outside and being active, and can promote bad habits like unhealthy snacking and interfering with healthy sleep patterns. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that a mix of adequate physical activity and minimal leisure-time sitting were required to potentially lower the risk of obesity and disease. And according to another study published by the University of Cambridge, being sedentary may be twice as dangerous as obesity.
Once you’re in the habit of collapsing in front of the TV during down time, it can be hard to pull yourself out. To get motivated, start small by making simple life changes like walking to the shops instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and choosing healthy snack-food over junk food.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. This might sound like a lot, but when you count in all the extra steps you’ll make by taking the stairs and other simple things, you’ll find that 30 minutes of activity is easy to do. Additional exercise doesn’t have to be a chore, it can be something you enjoy, like dancing, yoga, basketball or even just skipping rope in the backyard. Exercising with a friend can further motivate you, and you’ll soon start noticing the difference.