We sit most of our lives away. The average person sits for nine hours a day. That is almost as long as most teenagers sleep! And they sleep so much.
Sitting turns off the muscles in your legs and cuts calorie burning down to one calorie an hour. It’s just flat out unhealthy to sit all day and not exercise. One in three Americans are obese. That is a scary statistic that I believe correlates directly with the fact that after the eight hours a day most of us spend at a desk, we go home and watch two or more hours of 30 Rock. I mean choose your own poison– err, adventure– but the truth is, we need to be aware of the effect our lifestyles have on our lives.
Here are some cool things about exercise:
• improves cardiovascular health (take that, heart attacks!).
• improves bone density.
• helps with weight control.
• improves muscle strength (sup, beefcakes!).
• fights diabetes and other illnesses.
• lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.
• reduces risk of strokes.
• improves memory.
• stimulates new brain cell formations.
• combats the general malaise of “office” jobs.
I really love leisure and I love lounging and that is why this year I have made a conscious effort to exercise. It’s been really hard for me, because as I said, I really love leisure and I looove lounging. At the same time, I would like to continue lounging into my golden years and I can’t do that if I’m not in good health.
Let me start this by saying, I hate exercise. I only took P.E. freshman year of high school because I convinced my theatre director, Mrs. Little, to sign a petition saying I couldn’t continue physical education because I needed to take advanced Shakespeare for the good of the theatre department. For the record, advanced Shakespeare was a farce, led by a hippie named Schafer who let us “interpret” the Bard by hanging out and talking about it with our friends for an hour, breaking crucial Upland High Theatre Department regulations, such as no snacking in the auditorium. It was amazing.
If I can gather the strength to be active, you can too. These are the ways I’ve motivated myself to get off my butt and work out so I thought I’d share, because that is what I use the internet for.
1. Tangible Real-Time Goals
What’s coming up in your future that you want to be in shape for? Vacation? A scandalous Halloween costume? Your cousin’s wedding everyone from high school who never wanted to date you will be at? Even if it’s not something you technically need to be “in shape” for, blowing it out of proportion to propel you out of bed in the morning is worth it.
2. Dream Goals (That You Really Believe In)
Did you guys know that I am working out now because next summer I am going to the Billabong Pro surf competition in Tahiti and I am going to meet Kelly Slater? We’re going to be at the bar on the beach and I’m going to smile at him and he’s going to be like, “Hey, don’t I follow you on Twitter?” and then I’m going to say something coy like, “Yeah.” We’re then going to talk for awhile and eventually part ways only to find out we are in neighboring bungalows over the water! So weird, right?! Then he’s going to be like, “Hey, do you and your rad boyfriend want to come drink this champagne with me and my super-cool girlfriend, Kalani Miller? We can talk about surfing, bikinis and how you’re in amazing shape!” And I’ll of course be like, “Yeah, Kelly. That sounds cool.”
To some of you, this may sound crazy. To me, it sounds like I am going to look fabulous.
3. Know You Will Be Able To Eat As Many Servings Of Mashed Potatoes As You Please
I really, really love mashed potatoes, with every fiber of my being! And that is why I tell myself I have to love working out, because I want to eat as many mashed potatoes as I damn well please and not have to worry about it. I mean, whatever floats your boat. Maybe you’re a dessert kinda lady, I don’t know. But think of all the delicious cupcakes you won’t have to feel bad about because you have a regular exercise routine!
4. You’re The Protagonist Of Your Personal John Hughes Film
I love-love-love getting into my cardio and thinking about how I’m going to prove everyone wrong, how all the lovers who jilted me will be jolted and how I’m going to be the belle of some fantasy ball I’m throwing for myself in my mind because I’m obviously a crazy person who has to trick herself into working out because health reasons apparently are not enough.
I look at Victoria’s Secret online until I somehow end up with my gym shorts on. I don’t know, it’s magic!
6. It Really Just Improves Your Quality Of Life
All jokes and crazy psychological scheming aside, exercising just flat out improves the quality of your life. Not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. Exercise helps relieve stress, boosts your confidence and alleviate symptoms of depression with the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins. You will have more energy, less anxiety and a better body image.
Another really great to motivate yourself is to get your friends involved, so I hear. I don’t do this because I don’t like talking to people at the gym. Apparently, I’m like the only person in the universe who feels this way. I prefer just to talk to my friends about exercise.
So friends, how do you motivate yourself to exercise? What’s your routine? Share in the comments so we can all motivate each other as the mornings get cloudy and staying home, watching Hook and eating all your roommate’s Cheez-Its in your pajamas sounds more appealing than hitting the gym.