Posted by: Daisy | February 20, 2009

Bye Bye Couch Potato

I’ll admit I was leading a very Couch Potato life only a few short years ago. I had many reasons for not being able to be active – I had a full time career, I had a young baby to take care of, I didn’t have time, I didn’t have money… the list goes on.

I had 2 reasons that led me to finally get off my couch and start.

  • My doctor – she told me I needed to incorporate exercise into my routine partially because of my family pre-dispositions to the big three (heart, stroke, and diabetes) and partially because of my blood-work results.
  • Me – I was uncomfortable with my post-pregnancy shape.

So, I started with two goals – I wanted to look better, and feel better so that I could live a longer, and healthier life. Sound familiar?

I needed to step up my activity levels and I ended up joining the local gym in 2004 with my husband. I was shocked to find my resting heart rate was at a very unhealthy rate. My heart rate shot up when I started moving and my husband almost went into cardiac arrest seeing the number. I told myself that I was never going to let myself get to this level again. That was the beginning and I haven’t looked back since.

Fast forward a few years later (in April of 2007) when a nurse checked my resting heart rate and told me it was less than 60 beats per minute. She checked it a few more times, and it was consistently below 60. I was so dumb-founded, I asked her if I was okay. She told me such a low heart-rate was an indication of a very strong heart muscle and is very positive.

If someone told me in 2004 when I joined the gym, that I would in 3 years have the resting heart-rate of an elite athlete, and become a fitness instructor teaching fitness classes, I would have laughed and said “you’ve got the wrong person”. I think I even would have bet a lot of money against it. I never would have dreamt that this was possible, and yet here I am.

If you’re ready to start, just remember to take it easy to start. You don’t have to switch from Couch Potato to Fitness Freak with a 10 step plan including a detailed schedule for food and fitness. There’s nothing more de-motivating than putting together a plan that you can not possibly follow.

Start small and as you achieve, pat yourself on the back, and begin to take bigger steps. Here are some starting steps below:

Physical – start moving

  • Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way home. Or, park your car furthest away from where you’re going and take a brisk walk. 
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Mental – start thinking

  • Ask for help – tell someone you know and trust what your short term goals are. Brainstorm ideas for how to achieve them
  • Think about physical activities you already enjoy, or would like to try and think about how you can incorporate them into your week

Today is a great day to start.

– Daisy

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Responses

  1. Hi Daisy,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Your post made me check my resting pulse 🙂

    Corey

    Corey, You’re welcome. I hope yours was reasonable! – Daisy

  2. My head knows all that, but theres this little voice that says ‘go on have another cake, what harm can it do’ How do I get rid of that?

    Avoidance is key. Don’t have that cake in your home. I’ve got an upcoming post about ice cream sandwiches that talks more about that. And you know that we’re not perfect all the time as you read in my Cookie Sin and Cookie Sin Continued posts. The only thing we can do is try our best. – Daisy

  3. Those are some great tips, Daisy. I know something else that my wife impressed on me was the need to avoid all kinds of diets… which surprised me, until she explained what she meant. She was simply saying to eat smart. For example, don’t put more into your body than what your body will need or use, but don’t starve yourself or skip meals either. And don’t deny yourself the occasional treat or you will feel like you’re on some kind of prohibitive dietary regime and perhaps come to resent it… you know, stuff like that. Common sense is what I guess you’d call it. 🙂

    Absolutely – your wife has some good thoughts on this. I’ve always said it’s all about balance on so many levels. – Daisy

  4. Thanks for an inspiring post! Lately I have noticed the weight creep on, along with little side “benefits” like sore knees and being out of breath at the top of the stairs. Oh and did I mention that my stomach now pokes out farther than my bosom? Yow!

    Your posts on fitness have pushed me to stop being such a computer chair potato.

    Yes, in this day and age, it’s easy to get stuck in a chair and find our midsections growing a bit more than we like. I’m glad you liked the fitness post. A few more to come! – Daisy

  5. Great advice, Daisy! I find myself spending far too much time at the computer during the day — both at work and at home. I am looking forward to warmer weather so I can get outside and walk again. That’s my favorite thing.

    Yes, the weather can have a major impact.. so I find when you live in a cold climate (like I do), you gotta find things to do in all seasons! Glad you enjoy walking! – Daisy

  6. Great post Daisy! I love belonging to a gym. For years I did excercise by myself on my treadmill, with a dvd or outside. Which was all good, but I started detesting it, and so I knew it was time for a change. The gym has been the kick start I needed and put the fun back in excercise. Especially Pilate’s. I’m addicted. 🙂

    Isn’t it great to find something you enjoy? I’ve got a couple of videos I’ll post later with some cool fun classes. I’m glad it’s working well for you – Daisy


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