I am not going to give a history lesson about how the thirteen American colonies legally separated from Great Britain or who signed the Declaration of Independence. What I want is for you to declare your independence from your couch. Get off your butt and go outside. Go for a walk. Play with your kids at the park. Start the vegetable garden you always wanted. Take your bike off the hook in the garage and go for a ride. Restring your tennis racquet and play a set on the court. Join an intramural flag football team. Put some air in the basketball and shoot some hoops. Meet some friends at the gym. Wrap your hands, slip on some boxing gloves and go a few rounds against a heavy bag. Basically what I am saying is MOVE.

It’s easy to get into a routine of eating dinner on the couch and watching television. Eric, that’s not so bad, is it? The problem is that most people go beyond just eating dinner on the couch. They do it while watching cooking shows and food competitions while sitting through commercials that market more food. They get up from the couch, head back to the kitchen, load up a feed trough and giant beverage cup, and resume their reclined position. So it becomes chew, change channels, sip, raise volume, crunch, rewind the funny part, gulp, etc. In an hour, you can easily take in a thousand extra calories.

It all comes down to what’s most important to you. Your health and fitness or zoning out and being entertained by the TV? TV will not help you lose weight, run a half marathon, improve your tennis serve or reduce your back pain. While I’m on my soap box, I’m going to take this a step further and suggest you declare your independence from sugar, fat and alcohol. I’m not suggesting a diet 100% free of alcohol, for example, just to be more aware of what you’re eating and drinking.

Eric, your timing could not be worse. Don’t you know that we’re heading into 4th of July weekend? Absolutely. Now is the perfect time to make the decision. Not after four days of gorging and imbibing. So make July 4th the day you celebrate your independence from the couch and the day you decided to get in the best shape of your life!