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This Is What Being A Couch Potato Is Doing To Your Heart

April 23, 2020

Ever since the stay-at-home orders were put in place, you may be turning into a couch potato. Getting out of your regular routine is an easy way to become less active. But it’s time to start thinking about getting back into shape for summer. 

Being lazy about your workouts can be detrimental to your heart health. Here’s an interesting fact for you to consider: Being inactive makes it easier for your body to store up on fat cells.

Want To Learn The Most Recent Guidelines for Physical Activity?

So, the more sitting and laying around you do, the more likely you are to feel weighed down by the changes happening inside your body.

Couch Potatoes And Your Health

Here are a couple of other ways in which being inactive can affect your heart health:

  • Inactivity can increase your blood pressure. If you or a loved one already has high blood pressure (hypertension), it is important to revisit our tips for reducing it and lowering your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Being a couch potato acts as a gateway to develop other bad habits. It is harder to find the energy to prepare a healthy meal or get up to stretch and move around. A lifestyle filled with poor diet and exercise increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and developing heart disease over time. If you want to keep a heart-healthy diet, see our list of recommendations.
  • And don’t think that just because you’re at work you are completely in the clear. Those who are required to sit for long hours while they are at work are also more vulnerable to developing heart disease.

Exercises For A Couch Potato

So, how can you start to put together a plan to safely get in shape for summer? It’s actually quite simple. Start small and work your way up to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some of our favorite activities you can implement into your ‘Get In Shape For Summer’ plan:

Discipline Yourself. It can be difficult to rip yourself away from the show you’re in the middle of binge-watching, but if you’re serious about getting healthier for summer, why not make it a daily priority to cut back?

In fact, you can even make a game of it. After each episode (you can even set a timer to go off every hour), challenge yourself to a 10-minute stretch break. Use this time to move your body and even prepare a healthy snack.

Start With Light Exercise. If you go from no exercise to intense exercise after months of sitting around, your body will become so physically stressed that you may scare yourself into quitting your exercise plan before you’ve even begun. Some ideas to get you started are:

  • Talking a short walk outside
  • Regular stretching
  • Yoga

Small changes in your physical activity will create desired results over time. By increasing the intensity of your exercise regime gradually, you will give your body more time to adjust to new levels of physical activity. This will also lower your risk of injury.

Eat Healthy and Drink Plenty of Water. Who says couch potatoes have to be unhealthy eaters? If you’re drinking enough water and snacking on healthy items, you will feel more motivated to get up and do something physical!

More Ways Couch Potatoes Can Get Active

You can also think outside of the box a little bit and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. You can do things like:

  1. Whenever it is feasible, take a walk to your destination instead of driving or taking public transportation.
  2. If your home, workplace, or other destination is not located on a high floor, consider walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  3. Doing household chores and playing with your kids can also make you heart-healthy.
  4. When you are watching television, sit on an exercise ball instead of a couch or chair. This will force you to use your core muscles in your abdomen and back to maintain balance.

Ready to go from couch potato to in shape? We know you can do it!

As you age, your risk of developing heart disease becomes greater. Download our Cardiology Testing Guide to predict your risk of heart attack and stay ahead of other potential heart risks.

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