You can spend sun up until sundown partying or just lazing around, releasing the inner couch potato in you. Leading a life on meaningless inactivity may seem like heaven at first but when you start noticing that the sofa has a permanent imprint on your bottom on it, or the remote control seems to run out of batteries every other day because of incessant channel changing, or the computer is emitting smoke due to endless web surfing, you have got to change routine. And none of that stressful stuff you do the rest of the year – this time, be productive and have fun while you are at it! So to avoid being the newly inducted member of the Couch Potatoes Hall of Fame, here are 5 things to try:

  1. Learn a different language. French words always sound romantic. Even something as simple as Omelet Du Fromage (cheese omelet) is like music to the ears. Or maybe you have always wanted to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon without depending on the subtitles. Will then, why not try to speak the language? You can enroll in foreign language institution and learn with an entire class, or hire a tutor to teach you in the comfort of your own home. Or if you want to go the self-help route, you can always check out the nearest bookstore and get one of those tapes that come with a booklet - this way you can keep it a secret and then suddenly surprise everyone by bursting into a hearty rendition of "Unchained Melody" – in German.

  1. Do volunteer work. Other than beta-carotene, volunteer work is another thing that is good for the heart – in an entirely different sense. By reaching out to the less fortunate, you will find that it feels great to forget about yourself for a moment and focus on making somebody else happy. There are a lot of organizations out there that need help. This is an activity that provides food for the soul.

  1. Travel. There is a tremendous world out there beyond the walls of your home, and you should be taking advantage of this time to see it! Persuade your family to take this trip with you or organize a group of your friends to go on a road trip.

  1. Get some exercise. If you are beginning to notice that babies fall asleep as soon as they get in your arms (because you are a big and as soft as a bed), little kids like to play near you on hot summer days (due to the shade you provide), or the sight of your feet is a distant memory (your stomach always seem to get in the way), then, maybe it is about time that you hit the nearest gym for a try at the treadmill. If you are not one for the banging and clanging of machines, why not opt for the more traditional forms of exercise like sports?

  1. Help around the house. Try making yourself useful every once in a while. It will not kill you or make your bed as soon as you wake up, and you might even discover that you have not one, not two, but three pillows under all those sheets!