#writerslife: Writing and Exercise

This is my first post in this category, #writerslife, and it took me a while to think of something I thought was worthwhile to discuss on this page. Then I came across an article at the CNN site written by Susan Scutti that addressed the effects on the body that sitting for long periods of time can do. Well, seeing that writing is considered a sit-down activity, I read the article, of course.

I have problems with movement as it is because of my disability. Walking on surfaces that slope on either side is a little treacherous for me because my inner balance is off. Walking more than two city blocks can get extremely tiresome for me now that I am older. Yet, I am quite aware of the fact that if I don’t walk, I’ll lose the ability, as decrepit it may be. So I do it every day, taking five to ten laps walking from one end of the house to the other [inside]. Most days it’s seven laps before I find myself starting to trip over myself.

However, this article talked about a study that was done, the REGARDS study, that proves life is shortened by long periods of sitting. It did mention cardiovascular health but didn’t clearly give a reason why sedentary behavior can have such an extremely negative effect on our wellbeing.

My own theory is my blood isn’t moving through my arteries and veins as quickly as it should when I sit at this desk too long. It isn’t helping my digestive system to stay in a sedentary posture either. I have serious doubts that looking at a screen less than a yard away from my eyes for long periods isn’t doing my eyes any good as well. Is it any wonder why I wear glasses?

Nevertheless, I am not advocating recording your writing as you walk for miles and miles. I know I certainly wouldn’t do it, myself. I love typing each word out and watching it appear on the screen. I love the feeling of creativity I experience while doing this activity.

Howbeit, to improve my whole wellbeing, I’ve reversed my opinion about the Pomodoro technique for getting my writing done. Before, I thought I must sit fast in this chair until I accomplished something or until at least two hours had passed. I thought I just had to be stubborn enough so the words would finally flow out of me.

I picked up a timer app at the Windows Store, a free one, of course, tomatime. I can set up thirty-minute periods of writing time, short times for breaks, and times for longer breaks too.

Now I just have to figure out how to make my mind accept the times I should stop for a few minutes. After all, just because I’m not at my desk doesn’t mean the creativity has to pause.

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Postscript: Judging from the emails I’m getting from WordPress.Com, I’ve gained some followers. If this is so, you’re being awfully quiet out there. That’s okay though. I don’t comment on every post I read either. If you find you are having problems finding the time to read posts, I suggest you subscribe to my monthly newsletter so you have all the post links for one month in one shot plus a short article to read. [You can stay as a follower of my blog too but not receive the post notifications by going to WordPress.Com to opt out of the emails.]

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
Denis Waitley

 

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19 Replies to “#writerslife: Writing and Exercise”

  1. Doing too much of anything ain’t too good for us. Some of us certainly are limited to what we can do, like how walking for you and moving around can be an issue. Definitely writing is a lot of sitting down, unless we have a standing desk. I do all of my writing sitting down, and sometimes sitting down for a long time drains me and I lose focus. So getting up every now and then helps me concentrate again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now that I have a laptop, I guess I could try writing on the kitchen counter but the view outside the sliding glass doors is at the table. When I’m thinking of how I want to write something, I usually do better if I stare out onto the yard. I’m hoping the Pomodoro technique is going to get the words flowing better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I make it a habit to get up and walk at least once an hour (I try for two times). Otherwise, I get lulled into the comfort of the world that is my desk. In addition to being bad for your heart, it’s bad for you back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here at my desk, I have strapped a pillow to the back of my chair to give the small of my back more support. And it does help a little. But you’re right. Sitting for long periods of time is a killer for the back.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t thought of sitting as a bonus… yet. I’m pretty sure once I get into the habit of using this timer app I’ll be standing around sometimes wonder if it is ever going to ring so I can get back to my seat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I find walking to the be best exercise for writers. It gets the blood flowing and lets the mind work. You can observe the world and let your mind go free. Often I find that a short walk (even around the house) can relive stress in the body and let the mind be creative without pressure. How far, how strenuous doesn’t matter. Just movement and letting the mind relax a bit does wonders for my writing and health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re expecting me to tell you not to think like that, Jacqui, you will be disappointed. I know what you are talking about. Life, in general, is rough and rocky. Sometimes, just to lay down and let it all drift away sounds so good. I haven’t had a cluster headache for years now but I sure do remember them. I wish you ample days that are free from migraines.

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  4. It is so easy to get caught up in the flow of creativity when I write, that I forget to get up and move, though I believe in the advice that we should do so. Thank you for suggesting a solution. I, too will get a timer and figure out how to use it. Good luck to both of us. I think we will doing a good thing for our bodies if we can stop ourselves from sitting too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kind of figured you’d agree with me, Janet. If you use your computer for your drafts, the app at the Windows Sore I mention will have what you need. If you prefer pen and paper, your kitchen timer will suffice.

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  5. It is hard to change habits and not to sit for extended periods at the computer typing. The timer idea is a great one, and a good reminder to get up and move around, something I know I am guilty at not doing!
    Good luck, Glynis. I look forward to reading your progress on this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Luciana. During February I won’t be hovering around the blogosphere and, instead, will be working on my 2nd draft. I’m hoping the app helps me with the progress I want to make with my WiP.

      Liked by 1 person

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