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How To Get Moving If You Are A Huge Couch Potato

These simple tips have helped me tremendously.

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Marta Sevilla
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I am a self-proclaimed couch potato. I feel like my life is mostly wondering the next time I’ll be able to sit down. However, I know myself enough to realize I am a happier person if I work out each day.

My job keeps me sitting, and I’m constantly driving my kids around. So on the days I don’t have some activity, I find I’m irritable, restless and moody. Even if I don’t think I have the energy to spare, a burst of movement always gives me life — and I never regret it.

If you are a couch potato, too (and there’s no shame in that game), here are some tips I’ve used that have helped me tremendously.

Move in the morning

This practice changed my life. I would rather get up a bit early, exercise and be done with it knowing I have the evening to myself. It took a little bit of time, but it’s now a habit I can’t seem to break. It starts my day off right, I have more energy, and knowing I can relax and read or watch television with my family after dinner is enough to make me want to get it over with first thing in the morning.

Work out while watching your favorite show

I love watching cooking and home-decorating shows. I’m also a sucker for Friends and Golden Girls reruns. I pull up a workout — after watching it a few times — on my (muted) computer and perform the exercises while watching my favorite show. It makes the workout go by so much faster, and the distraction from the television makes it feel like less of a chore. You can also do crunches or squats during commercial breaks.

Put on your favorite music and dance

You can’t help but move more while you are cooking or cleaning when your favorite music is on. Have a family or solo dance party or add a great playlist to your workout routine.

Listen to a podcast

Find an inspiring podcast and tell yourself you can listen to it only while you go for a walk, bike or run. Whether it’s a true-crime podcast or one about how to manage your love life, this will make you look forward to your exercise routines.

Join a class or get a workout partner

There’s nothing like a group of people to keep you inspired. When you have others to share your success and endorphins with, exercise can feel so much better. A workout partner is also a great way for you to keep each other motivated and held accountable for getting daily exercise.

Treat yourself after you exercise

Savor a reward after you do something hard. I personally love to get a Diet Coke every day after I exercise. Maybe you have a favorite coffee place or like to get your nails done weekly. Whatever it is, dedicate a special treat for yourself to enjoy after you’ve reached your workout goal for the day or week.

Exercise in short bursts

If you don’t have time or don’t like to work out for long periods of time, change your routine. I’ve found lifting weights for a half hour in the morning and then going for a run a bit later breaks up the workout and doesn’t make it feel so intense.

Go for a few shorts walks during the day or do 10-minute bursts throughout the day instead of a 30-minute workout.

Work out at home

If it’s too costly and timely to get to a gym, there are tons of free workouts available to do at home. You can choose from lots of equipment options as well, and there are exercises for every level. It will save you from changing and driving to the gym (which is a big time and energy suck) and will give you fewer reasons to skip your workout.

Plus, you don’t have to worry about how you look or be intimidated by others when you are in the privacy of your own home.