Transformed Ostrich

When you just wish you could pull your OWN head out of the sand…

The Active Couch Potato, and how to Sprout!

Last month I mentioned the benefits of stretching everyday, and how to make it a manageable activity no matter how busy you are, and how IMPOSSIBLE you thought it was to fit into your schedule. While this is a great way to break the low energy of sitting at a desk all day, driving long hours in traffic, and falling asleep on the couch watching TV, it can also increase your life span!

“Active Couch Potato”

Tom Venuto, a fitness coach and active online blogger at, has been providing fitness tips and advice for years to the general population. In his recent article titled Are You an “Active Couch Potato?”, he mentions that while some people consider themselves “active” by way of going to a gym or jogging a couple times per week, could really only be an “active couch potato!”

“Prolonged sitting can make you fat and even kill you!”

This new way of looking at the grey area between wholly “active” and wholly “sedentary” puts my own struggle with being a “hard gainer” in the gym into perspective finally. In my early teens I spent my whole day either at a computer or in a school desk, but pushed hard for weeks at a time, between periods of discouragement, in my home gym to look like the pro wrestlers on TV. As funny as that seems now, I continued this “on and off” exercise routine, as well as healthy eating, and indoor vs outdoor time for years. I could never get that look of “in shape” that some other people with construction jobs or simply “outdoorsy” people had. I always struggled with low energy and motivation, often ditching my healthy routines out of boredom or lack of results.

That is until, a decade later, I turned my workout routine into my primary goal for the day. This happened for a number of reasons, partially because I was unemployed without prospect of work for a period. I turned to the gym, its friendly staff, and excellent spa facilities. Every SINGLE day started out with a relaxing chat with the staff, then a good 40mins workout (nothing crazy; just 5-10 sets of 1-2 body parts each day), sauna, shower, dress for the day! Not only did this yield the obvious and well known benefits of high energy and general feel-good, positive attitude, but after almost a year, I noticed I has those fore-arm ripples, thicker shoulders, and pecs that were big enough to be visible under a shirt! Other people were commenting that I “looked good” out of the blue.

This gym time would often occupy 3+ hours of my day, and I spent very little time sitting at all. No TV, no dinners on the couch, and no sleeping in. I was always walking with friends, or walking between places to meet people. Without struggling to find time to “work out”, I was just generally an active person, almost by default!

It now seems obvious, at least based on the other stories and people I’ve talked to, that the “hard gainer” phenomenon, and the people that have struggled for years to lose weight, or gain muscle, fall into this “Active Couch Potato” category!

What are you going to add into your day to bust out?! 🙂

One Response to “The Active Couch Potato, and how to Sprout!”

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