Don’t let your job turn you into a couch potato

Gautham Dinesh
4 min readMar 26, 2024

As the world becomes progressively digital, humans become increasingly softer.

Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

Prelude

Looking back at our ancestors hunting for food, climbing trees, and walking for several kilometres a day, only a tiny part of it remains in the life of a modern human in a digital economy. The modern world has made us soft. We sit in our cars, at our desks all day curled up like a shrimp, staring at screens till our eyes can no longer focus and then we wonder why we have so many physical and mental health issues. In the last year, there has not been one consecutive week where I have not done any form of workout or exercise and this has had tremendous benefits in not only my health but my mood, motivation and focus. When I get my morning workout done, take a cool shower and head to work, I feel much more focused, energetic and happier than if I didn’t. If you are privileged enough to work an office job and other responsibilities that demand you to work all day from 9 am to 9 pm, you must surely have at least 30 minutes for your health.

The challenge

Getting started is extremely challenging, especially if you have been sedentary since your early teens in middle school. But it is not impossible.

Everyone needs to start somewhere and it is easiest to start by taking the smallest steps possible. First of all, sign up for a gym, preferably somewhere close to your home or office so it reduces the friction between where you are and where you want to get to. Now all you need to do is show up every day for the first two to three months. You don’t need an elaborate workout plan, start with the basics: push, pull, and legs. You can find so many beginner workout plans for free on the internet. Find something you like whether it is weightlifting, running, calisthenics or martial arts. It doesn’t matter what you pick, so long as you stick with it for two to three months unless you are sick (in which case, read this to recover faster).

Work towards a goal. Running a 5k, benching 60kg, squatting your body weight, and doing 10 pushups; are all goals you can work towards to mark your transformation in strength and endurance. When the motivation wanes, look towards these goals and remind yourself why you first started. This is important because if there is no goal to work towards, you will get lost and may never find your way back. It is important to not obsess over the goal but to guide you along a path so you obsess instead on the journey.

Prepare for your workout

Decide when you have time to work out every day and put it in your calendar to block that time out. Make sure you prioritize this time as though it is an important meeting. Yes, you might need to sacrifice your Netflix night on the couch to get it done but nothing in this life is for free. You lose some, you win some. Put a reminder 30 minutes before your workout starts on your calendar event so that it cues you to prepare for it. Get changed, have a pre-workout snack/meal if you need to, wear your gym shoes and make it to the gym on time. Remember, this is an important meeting and you might get fired if you don’t get to it.

Don’t give up

It is hard to see results early on. You might think it is pointless to keep going for the first few weeks or months. But this is exactly where you need to persevere and push through those thoughts. Rome was not built in 10 days but if you show up every day, and lay just one brick, you would have built a Colosseum before you realize it. Trust the process and you will see results. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have a gym buddy, even if this is someone that you see regularly at the gym. If you can build a rapport and work together on some sets, teamwork and social interaction will improve the workout.

Celebrate

Don’t be too hard on yourself. You should celebrate when you hit a milestone in some workout with the people you enjoy being with, even if that is just yourself. Treat yourself when you achieve a goal, record your victories and reflect on them to see just how far you’ve come from day one. It’s not something easy to do and be proud that you have done what you thought was impossible.

I encourage you to get started today. Download a workout plan, make a schedule and start moving. Trust me, you will thank me later. If you are reading this and have a similar experience, please comment and share your story!

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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