Warm weather and the pursuit of physical perfection seem to go together. For some reason as the temperatures rise, we feel the need to get off the couch. Mostly, this ends badly.
During the cold months we stock up on warm, heartening foods that keep our spirits up and act as an internal blanket or feeling of welcome to stave off the cold. This feels great while the wind and rain rage outside, but it does tend to add up. Our calorie intake and our cushion mileage work hand-in-hand to expand our waistband.
Once in this routine it can be quite hard to become active again. It’s really comfortable on that couch and there’s just so much to watch that you need a really good reason – and it’s the dream of that toned summer body that eventually gets us off the couch.
I say eventually, because that sticky couch keeps us until the last possible minute – and that’s when we burst into action. We leave it until the last possible minute to start getting fit. The result is a frenzy of activity covering every kind of effort imaginable.
We grab the weights, our running shoes, cycling shorts, yoga mats, every kind of exercise machine marketed on television and begin our punishment. We push, and push hard, sweating and straining with the effort and pretend like we’re teenagers all over again.
This happens right up until we inevitably push too hard and get hurt. It has to happen because our lack of fitness and lack of skill in correct physical activity conspire against us by wielding the weapon of enthusiasm.
The result … we land up right back on the couch, with nothing but dreams.
Successfully upgrading from the couch to a more active lifestyle demands moderation. Walk, rather than run. Do less, more often, rather than trying to be an Olympian.
Take it slow, build it up and you’ll get where you’re going. The longer you’ve been away from the sweat game, the longer it will take you to get strong again. Rushing the process only ends in disaster. The other issue is sweating and straining hard from the outset makes it very difficult to enjoy the effort – and if you don’t enjoy it you’re not going to do it.
Keep in mind that every step you take, every move you make is getting you further and further away from the couch. Good luck with that crazy journey and enjoy the view, it gets better the more work you put in. It doesn’t matter that you go slow, it only matters that you go.
On a final note, did you know you can customise your phone’s keyboard to create shortcuts for regular messages? For instance, if you send regular emails to the same group of people, you can create a shortcut containing all the addresses and then link it to “grp” (for example). Every time you type “grp” after that, all the email addresses will appear. You can do this for any text at all, personally I use it for my hashtag collection so I can enter a short phrase and populate all of my image tags on platforms like Instagram. It works slightly differently for an iPhone to an Android device, but both are relatively simple and definitely worth doing.