10 Solutions for the Couch Potato

relax on the sofaAlright, I admit it. I have formed some bad habits.   I am finally at the point where I can accept it and decide to do something about it. I have decided that if I am going to make some changes, I need some things to change my ways and not be a couch potato.

It’s taken me many years to develop unhealthy habits, and change will not come overnight, but it can come a little at a time. Here are a few things I plan to do to help me in my quest for a more healthy me.

The Fitbit Watch I have the Fitbit Inspire 2 device that I think is quite comfortable and useful. These fitness trackers also come in many colors. A bright idea and valuable for people like meIt is undoubtedly the way to get started on the right track to good health. Here are some of the features of this watch.

• Get continuous, automatic, wrist-based heart rate and simplified heart rate zones
• Track workouts, heart rate, distance, calories burned, floors climbed, active minutes, and steps
• Monitor your sleep automatically and wake with a silent alarm
• See call notifications, daily stats, and time of day on the OLED display
• You can sync stats wirelessly and automatically to your computer and over 150 leading smartphones.

The Smart Scale – Most scales give weight, and if health is an issue, it’s good to look at more than this. A better scale costs a little more money, but it’s well worth it. The FITINDEX Body Fat Scale can hold up to 400 lbs of weight. It measures the percentages of body fat, body water, muscle, and bone mass. It also stores information for up to 8 people so the whole family can be healthy.

Exercise Videos – It is hard for me to go to the gym, so I use exercise DVDs at home. One DVD that works well for me is Leslie Sansone’s walking videos. I like this one because there are four workouts on one DVD, and I enjoy the workouts.   It does not require fancy steps and moves, just walking. It’s beneficial if you are a beginner. During these sessions, a mile goes by quite quickly, and you can soon do two miles in a short time. She is a great motivator, and I feel revived afterward.

Amazing Grass Green SuperfoodGreen Superfood is a powerful blend of nutritious greens, phytonutrient-packed fruits, veggies, cereal grasses, digestive enzymes, and probiotics that increase energy, promote detoxification, and boost your immune system. Amazing Grass Green Superfood is an excellent resource for someone wanting to get off the couch. Along with sitting comes unhealthy snack foods. I believe that Fresh fruits and veggies are best, but Green Superfood is an excellent choice if you need to supplement a little.

Prescription for the Couch Potato

Focus on today, not tomorrow. Take baby steps, and get moving! Some think they need to join a gym, exercise for long hours daily, or spend an hour a day to begin exercise. Neither of these things is true. All it takes is baby steps. I know someone so heavy they couldn’t even walk two houses down from their home in a subdivision.

She started by just going to the mailbox. She did that until she could without panting for her next breath or stopping. She then walked to the home next door until she could do so without being out of breath. She then increased her activity slowly until she reached the block’s end.

After a while, she was able to walk a mile. She lost a significant amount of weight by concentrating on today and not trying to do too much at once. What activity can you do today that will start you on the journey to making life changes? Just pick one thing and do it consistently until you are comfortable, and add another activity. Here are a few suggestions:

Walk – it’s free. No membership is required. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just some comfortable walking shoes.

Start Gardening – This is one of the most therapeutic ways to relax, get in touch with nature, and exercise simultaneously.

Use a pedometerThis is a much cheaper alternative than fitness watches. Some years ago, my church started a walking program where we track daily steps. I noticed that I take more steps when I wear the pedometer. It constantly challenges me to do more or to reach a specific goal.

I started trying to increase my walking to 10,000 steps per day, and I noticed I was deliberate in how many steps I took. I would park far from my workplace, church, or the store and take more steps to reach the goals I set for myself. Try it; pedometers are inexpensive. Here is the one I use. On your breaks at work, walk. It’s better than sitting or being a couch potato and relieves stress.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator. I walk along the hallway at work, sometimes back and forth two or three times for short power breaks.

Take five-minute exercise breaks and do wall push-ups, squats, or other arm or leg exercises.

It doesn’t take much, just a little effort and a whole lot of determination. So go ahead, get moving. Don’t be a couch potato, be active. Decide to change your life, not tomorrow but today.

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Eat Your Vegetables

It all remains vividly clear to me, sitting at the kitchen table as a child and encouraged by my parents to finish all the food on my plate. My parents didn’t believe in wasting food. They found that to be healthy, we needed to eat all the food on our plates, and they thought throwing food away was wasteful. Our family had six children, and we sat at a large kitchen table.  Three children sat on one side and three on the other, with our parents sitting at the heads of the table. I usually managed to eat everything on the plate pretty quickly, except when it came to vegetables.

Fresh Vegetables

Day after day, I always managed to be the last one sitting at the table, and I can still hear my parents saying, “Eat your vegetables.” Oh, how I hated vegetables! I would do anything to get out of eating them. When my parents left the kitchen, I would quickly grab a fist full of napkins and slowly fork my food into my lap until it was all gone. I threw my napkins in the trash and put my plate in the sink, avoiding yet another night of what I considered nasty vegetables.

Unfortunately,  I carried that lousy habit into adulthood and didn’t start enjoying vegetables until I had my children. I then started telling them, “Eat your vegetables.” My oldest son loved veggies and preferred them over have them over pasta, pizza, sweets, or any other type of food. My younger son was not that much of a veggie-lover, but I managed to get him to eat them.

According to choosemyplate.gov, women should receive between 2 ½ – 2 cups of vegetables per day, depending on age. The diet should include red, orange, yellow, and green vegetables. I have a few suggestions I use to get all of my daily suggested servings.

1. Try veggie burritos. I sauté my vegetables,  add mushrooms, beans, or anything else I choose, put them in a spinach burrito along with dressing and enjoy a meal.   Other ingredients such as brown rice, corn, or beans make a good meal.

pizza

2. Veggie Pizza – When my children were young, we enjoyed veggie pizzas full of all types of fresh vegetables.

italian soup 2

3. Vegetable soup – Soups are especially lovely to eat in the winter and can be prepared alone or in combination with other food items.

4. Vegetable Stew – Vegetable stew with more chunky vegetables and less fluid can be filling and hearty. Stew is another good choice for a healthy meal and an excellent way to eat those veggies.

5. Vegetable Juice – If you can’t buy or make vegetable juice, purchase Green Superfood. It offers the benefits of vegetables and easy mixing. (you don’t need a juicer), it can be put in smoothies or other dishes compared to other green drinks and has a great taste compared to many other green drinks or juices. It is also beneficial to those trying to lose weight.

6. Vegetable and Fruit Smoothies – These smoothies are healthy and taste great. I enjoy smoothies as a refreshing drink or an excellent way to get a meal in the morning, especially if pressed for time. I have a recipe that includes bananas and oatmeal. I questioned if it would be tasty, but to my surprise, it was pretty good.

7. Barilla Veggie Pasta – I also buy Barilla veggie pasta, pictured below. Their pasta is made from pureed in-season vegetables. One serving of vegetables is in 3.5 oz of this pasta. And if you add vegetables to the pasta dish, you get even more vegetables. They also carry whole grain pasta, another healthier choice. They won the best new product award for 2014 from Better Homes and Gardens. You can only tell by the smell of it cooking that vegetables are in it. When the dish is prepared, I cannot tell the difference between this and regular pasta except for the whole grain version. It is sometimes hard to find the vegetable pasta in some stores. See if your local grocery store carries the vegetable pasta. If not, you can always order from Amazon.  Barilla vegetable pasta

vegetable pasta green
Barilla veggie pasta orange

I have finally reached a point in my life where I can say I enjoy eating my vegetables. I’ve learned how to cook different dishes and share them with others who enjoy eating vegetables in new and different ways. So go ahead, eat your vegetables!

Eat Your Vegetables