Get off the couch!

This article gives advice on how couples can become more active and emotionally connected in a technology/media driven world.

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  • Wives, have you ever felt the frustration of having married a couch potato when you want to get up, get out and have some good old fashioned fun? Too many husbands are lured to the television, especially these days with technology enabling the masses to remotely digitally record their favorite programs (which usually seems to be sports shows).

  • What are we to do? Give up and let the excuse of “I’m tired from work,” derail any chance of a walk around the block together, swimming or playing Frisbee in the park?

  • Medical Problems with Being a Couch Potato

  • Here’s a familiar warning to all, and most doctors agree: too much sitting around attributes to weight gain. According to the Mayo Clinic, being overweight is a major cause of plantar fasciitis, “which involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.”

  • Back pain is likely to increase with weight gain, putting unwanted pressure on the spine and disks that may have become compressed over the years (for instance, from loading and unloading moving trucks without using dollies or ramps, physically lifting children and wives, showing off by trying to squat 300+ pounds, and any other types of heavy lifting). For those of you still in your prime, (under age 40) being able to be physically active is often taken for granted, so many assume these ailments will never catch up with them.

  • My advice is to try and get your husband off the couch whenever appropriate. Dr. Mehmet Oz agrees and explains the benefits of weight loss: "Losing just 10 pounds can lower your blood pressure, reduce your risk for a stroke, ward off dementia, lower your risk for uterine and breast cancer, and lower your cholesterol up to 10%."

  • There are times when our husbands just need to rest, and we should be sensitive to that; the majority of men want to be our heroes. Yet, we should challenge our dear hubbies to become better as needed with kindness, just as they challenge us to improve.

  • Anti-couch potato strategies

  • Here are some steps you can take to prevent your husband from becoming a couch potato:

    1. Let him know that interaction/being active is important to you.

    2. Emphasize the benefits of physical activity.

    3. Negotiate how you will spend your free time together.

    4. Schedule date nights with physical activities.

    5. Set limits together about how much time is spent on the computer or watching television.

    6. Save magazine and newspaper clippings of local activities/events to attend.

    7. Find those in need of service and help them out.

    8. Rediscover what you have in common and plan ahead to make goals happen.

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  • These strategies will not only help get couples active and interacting again, it should also help strengthen the marriage relationship. Let’s face it: in marriage, nurturing emotional closeness and staying physically fit can feel like work at times. Yet it doesn’t have to feel that way, when we’re making the time to do what we enjoy together. Try these tips and see how they can benefit both you and your husband's health.

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Deborah Anderson is a versatile and published author, playwright, professional actress, music composer and journalist. As an experienced teacher of writing, she has taught students in elementary schools, high schools and colleges, and privately mentors writers across the United States. 

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