February 4, 2011

Writers and the Sedentary Life

Does this sound like you? You turn off the alarm clock, roll out of bed, make the coffee and start writing. (Maybe, on a good day, you get dressed.) Your ideas churn into words that spill from your brain, down through your fingertips and onto the computer keyboard. You type, lost in your work, until several hours later when you look at the clock and wonder where the time went.

We writers lead a sedentary life. We know that sitting on our derrières for hours on end isn't good for our health. A little exercise will keep our bodies and brains working at peak performance. But, who has time?

Here are some quick and easy ways to integrate 30 minutes of exercise into your writing day.

Plan to exercise for five minutes every hour. When you start writing, set a timer to sound at the end of 60 minutes. When it goes off, get up and move. Commit to doing this without any excuses (I'll finish this chapter first….I'll do it in a few minutes…etc.). If you follow through, in a six-hour workday you will have exercised for thirty minutes.

1. Walk around the house, march or jog in place.

2. Stand up and do stretches, jumping jacks and windmills.

3. Put on a favorite song and dance.

4. Clean your house. See how much you can get done in five minutes.

5. Climb stairs.

6. Play with your dog or cat.

7. Go outside and rake leaves, shovel snow or shoot hoops.

Some writers experience peripheral edema--swelling of the feet and ankles from sitting too long. Sitting causes fluid in your body to pool downward. If you see some puffiness around your ankles, stand up and move to get the fluid circulating again, or stand up and write!

Do you remember to get up and move while you're writing?
What are some ways that you integrate exercise into your writing day?