Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

As much as I love this writing life—the time alone to create and revise and dream—it’s hard on the body. I’m not a naturally athletic person, so my morning walk or afternoon bicycle ride is a continual struggle, never mind hourly stretches.body stretch

But we must persevere or we will become stoop-shouldered and myopic from staring at the computer screen, our hands frozen like claws over the keyboard, our butt one with the chair and our feet numb from lack of movement. What can we, as writers, do to ward off the effects of the repetitive nature of our calling ?

First, I think, is to move occasional1415252227q782rly. As I admitted above, this is a hard-won habit for some of us, but it must be adhered to if we wish to remain mobile and healthy. Excuse me while I fetch another cup of tea and run up and down the stairs

Second, a longer period of exercise is to be encouraged most days. I aim at a walk or bike ride at least 5 days a week, and if I get to it on the weekend, it’s a bonus. I’d rather get some exercise now than end up taking a lot of pills later for muscle issues and a crooked skeleton.

Third, an ergonomic desk and chair is a great addition to our workspace. Mine is relatively inexpensive. The important consideration is to make sure the chair adjusts for height and angle and armrest placement. I have no problem with changing writing locations. Some people write in their armchairs, or at a local coffee shop, or at the kitchen island. I’ve tried all of these and find I like my office desk in daylight hours, but will drift to the island or couch after supper. I can’t write in a coffee shop, but that’s a personal preference. I’m too distracted watching people and worrying about them watching me!file0001552953619

Some writers I know have standing desks so they can stand as they work at the computer instead of remaining in the chair for hours and days and weeks. It’s an option you might wish to look into.

One suggestion I have, besides finding a decent desk and chair, is to follow a fitness blog such as that of Kimberly J. Payne. She offers weekly fitness and food tips, books about fitness, a podcast on health matters, and other cool and healthy ideas.

Kimberley J. Payne

Kimberley J. Payne


So let’s unclasp our clawed hands, rise from our writing chairs, roll our shoulders back and breathe deeply. Grab another glass of water, and it’s back to work.

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I slog.

I thought I had coined the word, but apparently Miriam Webster got there first. The definition, however, fits precisely: “to plod heavily.” Yes, I am a slogger.

Why do I continue to plod heavily every morning? Firstly, I believe any kind of physical exercise has more health benefits than, say, sitting in an armchair drinking coffee to wake up. To sit at my computer day after day without exercise, to deny myself the healing elements of fresh air and sunshine, to ignore the need for the discipline to drive myself beyond my perceived limits—these things are not positive. I believe exercise can be a preventative to seizing up entirely or consuming inordinate amounts of medication for an increasing variety of aches and pains. To quote some wise soul, “It ain’t pretty, but it works.”

Secondly, I am blessed to live in the country, so I’m free to slog at my pleasure without offending unsuspecting passersby. Besides the aforementioned reasons for slogging, motivation for my pathetic presentation includes age, asthma and inherited lack of athletic agility. I think slogging can slow the unalterable effects of aging, exercise asthmatic lungs and keep my body limber, if not agile.

So it is in many areas of our lives. I continue to pray, in spite of the fact that my efforts are often lame and crippled. “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day,” no matter how pathetic my efforts seem.

I continue to sing, although some unknown malady causes my vocal cords to slog out of tune at times without warning.

I continue to write in asthmatic attempts to communicate my thoughts to readers. I don’t wish my gifts, however limited, to be wasted because they are not perfect. “Mistakes are made, I’ll not deny, but only made by those who try.” I can’t tell you who said that, but the quote is easy to remember and worth repeating.

Advice for the day: keep slogging. It’s better than seizing up, and you never know how many people you might encourage, entertain or inspire.

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