Sitting on your ass watching TV can be (and is for many people) a chronic problem that leads to weight gain, muscle mass loss, heart problems, diabetes, depression, hemorrhoids, impotence, bad clothing choices, low self-esteem and brain damage, among many other physical and psychological problems.
I know it's easy to give in to the dark side, and there are many, many excuses why you can't get outside and exercise. Once again, I know. I have convinced myself many times to sit on my ass when I should, at the very least, go for a walk, bike ride, hike or ski. My most common justification is my fused back and the chronic, sometimes debilitating pain.
Fortunately for me, my wife understands, but also has a low tolerance for pity. She knows I often pay the price in pain for a day in the out of doors, but she also knows that I feel better when I stay physically and mentally fit. She will often times motivate (pester) me to get out and about. I know she is right, and I find that the more I get out, the easier it is to continue getting out.
I am lucky that I live 90 seconds from a spectacular mountain canyon that is teeming with hiking and biking trails. I know that many people live many miles from true wilderness, but you don't have to go to the mountains to get out and find some wild.
A lot of cities now have urban trail systems to hike or bike on. There are no shortages of parks across our county and in our cities. Ya, they may be heavily used and have paved trails and such, but you could probably find a spot away from all the noise and city sights if you looked around.
Sometimes just siting by a river or creek, watching and listening to the water flow past, and the call of birds in the trees and bushes along the shore is enough to clear your mind of all the garbage we are exposed to daily on TV, in magazines, on the internet, at work or in our neighborhoods.
Just going for a 20 minute walk (consider leaving the Ipod at home) can help clear your head or give you some time to think about problems in your life, or reflect on all that is good around us.
By all means, if you have mountains, hills, canyons, grasslands or any wild spaces close, get out and reconnect with the earth (no, I am not advocating petting bunnies or hugging trees).
Find a challenge (goal) for yourself like hiking a mountain peak, or doing a loop hike, or riding a singletrack trail, and get some clean air and endorphins. You'll find getting sweaty, smelly, blistered, sunburned, dehydrated and sore to be addicting, and you'll crave more and find new and exciting ways to explore what is around you.