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Advice From A Former Couch Potato

Written by Emily Brinker

HealthCheck360's Account Administrator Emily knows how it feels to want to be active but not know where to start.  She shares a glimpse into what she had to do change her lifestyle from self-proclaimed couch potato to climbing mountains. 

Let's be real.  It can be difficult to find time to get a workout in during the workweek.  Sometimes we try to justify excuses as to why we're not active.  I'm too tired.  I just want to relax after work.  I'm not a morning person.  I don't know what to do for my workouts anymore. How do I know all of these excuses? I've used them myself, a thousand times. Each. This was one of the biggest struggles for me as I transitioned from a college athlete to working a desk job.  As a college athlete, I never had to plan my workouts, my meals, or even my day; that was all laid out for me.  So, when my athletic career ended, I quickly became bored with the same strength training and cardio workouts and fell out of my routine. I got to the couch potato status where I wasn't doing anything active.  

During this time, I realized that I didn't have to be in a weight room or sprinting on a treadmill to get a good workout in, and there were plenty of other activities I could try.  The great thing about living in the Midwest is all of the outdoor resources, so it's easy to add variety in my life.  Inspired by the great outdoors, I started regularly hitting up a nearby state park that has several hiking trails. For companionship I started taking my dog with a few times each week and we'd both get a 4-mile walk.

I went from sitting on my couch (for literally hours) after work every day to looking forward to new trails and hikes I could explore.  Recently, I spent some time in Denver and took the opportunity to hike Chief Mountain. I never thought I would be the person who could do this, but I'm glad that I did.  

If I had to give a piece of advice to anyone struggling with getting or staying active, it would be to find variety in your activities. This will help fight the boredom of doing the same routine over and over again. I can still do my standard workouts at the gym, but throwing a hike or trail run into the mix keeps me interested. 

The best part is, you don't have to scale a mountain to get a good workout in. Discover the local parks and recreation trails in your area, try a new class like Zumba or yoga, or simply take a walk around the block. If you do try something new, post in the comments below what you tried out. I'd love to hear from you!


HealthCheck Emily


Chief Mountain


Thank you Emily for sharing your story and beautiful photo!  We know it can be difficult to get started but you prove that it's worth it!  Take Emily up on her offer and comment below with some of your favorite ways to get active or outdoors.  

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Topics: Health Tips



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