Avoiding Couch Potato Syndrome

Every year millions of Americans resolve to go on a diet, lose weight and exercise. Every year, millions of Americans give up on their resolutions.

People, experts and laymen alike, wonder why we break our resolution to get fit. In one article in livescience.com, writer Benjamin Radford discovered that we simply lack the will power to do it and/or we just do not care.

Couch potato syndrome 

Other experts however, name the couch potato syndrome as the culprit behind the growing number of overweight and obese individuals. There might be some truth to this, since the statistics seem to back up the theory.

To be able to drag ourselves up from the couch and away from the boob tube, Kathy Smith, a fitness expert, suggests that we make "being active" a habit so we don’t feel like we’re exercising. Being as active should be as part of your everyday routine, she adds.

Other experts suggest doing it in the way it in the way that works for you. Here are some of them:

Exercise before eating 

Dr. Kenneth Cooper is the acknowledged Father of Aerobics. He wrote 19 books on the subject and is believed to have motivated most people into exercising than any other person. What personally works for him? He exercises before his evening meal. "It suppresses my appetite, so I keep my weight under control."

Exercise upon waking up 

Jack LaLanne, another fitness guru, surprisingly admits he "hate[s] to work out. I’ve never liked to workout. So I get up at 5:00 a.m. and get it out of the way. I’m trying to see how long I can keep it up."

Exercise daily 

Another fitness buff, Richard Simmons, says he tries to get some exercise everyday. He does cardio four days a week, strength training two days, and walks the other day.

An article suggests a few simple ways to get a least a bit of activity going on in your body by doing the following:

  • Change channels the old fashioned way, by standing up and going over to the television, rather than flicking the remote control.
  • Use the bathroom that’s furthest away, so you have to walk to get there.
  • Don’t eat fried foods
  • Don’t use the drive-through; instead park and walk.

David Hyman, M.D., and chief of general internal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, says that in a study he co-authored, the results showed that the participants who changed everything ("everything" means they were asked to not just change one thing, but to change many things all at once) or at least a number of things at once, did the best.

Write it down

Greg Helmstetter, CEO of myGoals.com suggested that focusing on the negative is the way to achieve goals.

He suggests going about your exercise program by writing down your reasons – or rather your excuses – why you should not exercise and tackle those one at a time.

You can start with something as tedious as you don’t have the proper shoes and tackle that until you’re out of excuses and are already to start the program.

Distract yourself

Exercise physiologist Wayne Westcott and psychologist James Annesi recommends distracting yourself through the use of "background music, dimmed lights, pictures of vacation spots, and small talk helped exercisers stick with a program," so you’d find exercising more enjoyable.

Think, think

Kathy Smith suggests two more things. First, that you practice thinking with the words "I choose to," because she says there is power in positive thinking. Visualizing what yo want to be in 5-10 years and listing some of the things you enjoy doing can help you stay active, adds Smith.

Find a cause

Lastly, Smith suggests you become a philanthropist through exercise. If you can’t muster the enthusiasm to exercise for yourself, then perhaps you can for a worthy cause that you are passionate about.