A couch potato or a brain on the roll?!

We have all heard the term ‘couch potato’.  We may even have used the term derisively, to refer to somebody we know.  It is a fact that there are some of us, who cannot move from the sofa to even get a glass of water but want their help to bring it to them.  Hopefully, we also know the problems that being a couch potato can cause.  What can we do, both at home and at work, to avoid getting that derisive tag?  Here are a few tips –

  • Avoid sitting, or lying on the sofa, all the time. Use a straight-backed chair as much as possible.
  • Don’t ask your spouse or child to get you every small thing. If it is something that you can get yourself do so.
  • Take a look at your wardrobe. Store the items that you use most frequently, in the drawers/shelves closest the floor.  This way, you will bend down frequently to get things you need.
  • Don’t get into the habit of eating lunch or dinner when seated in a sofa in front of the television. Always use the dining table, or, if possible, sit on the floor when eating.
  • Avoid using the car or your bike, for small errands like getting something from the grocer’s in the next street. Walk there or use a bicycle.
  • Avoid ordering things online, for every small thing. Whenever possible, visit a shop or market yourself.

It does not take a lot of imagination to find ways to apply the principle of the above rules, at work too!

  • Avoid sitting at your desk all day long. From time to time, get up, and take a quick walk around.
  • When you need to communicate with a colleague, don’t send an e-mail, or pick up the intercom to have a chat. Walk over to his desk, even if it is somewhat far away from your own.
  • When going to work, make it a practice to park at a distance from your office. This will make you take a short walk both in the morning and evening.
  • Don’t think of time spent in short walks within the office, whether to stretch your legs or to a meeting, as waste of time. Use the time to think about what you are currently working on, or work that you are about to do.
  • If your office culture permits, set up walking meetings whenever possible. Both of you will not only get your work done but will also get in some exercise as well.
  • Your lunch hour need not last a whole hour. Sign up at a gym either at your office, or close by, and get in some work-out every day during lunch.
  • If your desk is in an upper floor, or if you have to move from floor to floor during the course of your work, ignore the lift and take the stairs.

You may feel why bother with all these things?  You may say, there many fat people who have perfectly healthy, normal, lives.  While there are, indeed, such cases, they are the exception and not the rule.

Almost invariably, excessive body weight lead to a host of health issues, which could, in turn, become very serious or even fatal.

On the contrary, cases of perfectly healthy, fit, active, persons suffering problems like heart-attacks are very rare.  Moreover, several scientific studies have shown that regular exercise can help improve your thinking skills and memory.

The tips given above are simple steps that you can take, practices that you can adopt, that will make you more active with very little effort.  If you are more ambitious, you could seek out a professional trainer, and who can help you find the right exercises for you, so that you can progress towards fitness.

Is it not better to make an effort to remain fit, and keep your brain on the roll, rather than settle down to be a couch potato?  You decide?

MeeHappy Wellness is an EAP that helps employees achieve the highest level of emotional, psychological and social well-being; be productive at workplace and lead a happy and fulfilling life. Our mission is to help organizations get the best out of their most important assets, thereby achieving corporate goals.

Mrs. Raji Ramanathan is a counsellor and special educator. She is a Holder of a B.A. from the University of Madras, she later earned a diploma in counselling skills from Banjara Academy, graduating at the top of her class. She has worked with Shristi Special Academy as a special educator, specializing in the development of children with Down’s Syndrome.

Currently she is based in Bangalore and assists people with counselling needs, on a case by case basis.