Friday, March 16, 2012

Exercise your mind and your body

This post isn't just for writers, it's for anyone who does the majority of their work sitting down. Did you know that sitting all the time could be deadly?

Not only that, I was just reading an article published in Cell Physiology. The article suggests that sitting and the pressure this puts on your buttocks and hips could cause more fat to accumulate in those areas. According to this article, sitting on your ass could make it %50 fatter! How disturbing is that?

I know we all in some ways suffer for our art. But I'm not willing to expand my ass for my craft. Ha. Ha. Ha.

As writers, we spend a great deal of time chained to our keyboards. Our minds are no doubt in great shape, but can we say the same for our bodies? Have you ever wondered what a certain writer looked like and when you finally saw them thought, "Wow. They are so overweight?"

That's putting it nicely. While I'm not trying to insult any of my fellow writers, I know other people who are not so kind. This is a sentiment I've heard echoed often by people I know when they see pictures or interviews with famous writers.

I try to explain to them that writing as much as these people do, they spend a lot of time sitting around. Sure, they're working hard, but their bodies are not.

This post isn't just about vanity. I'm sure there are lots of people who will scoff at it. Or say that I'm full of shit for caring what other people think. Whether we admit it or not, we all want others to approve of our appearance.

But like I said, this isn't about that. It's about being in good health. For me, it's about approving of my own appearance. I haven't liked what I've seen in the mirror for quite some time. I'm working to change that. While I'm not monstrously overweight, I am only 5' 4". Every ounce shows on my little body.

If I gain 2 lbs., it looks like 10. In the past year I've lost 27 lbs. However, no one can seem to tell. At least, no one has said anything. But I feel better. Yes, that's a lot of work for little reward, but I want to live a long, healthy life. I also want to live that life wearing smaller jeans. Ha. Ha.

To take no action at all could eventually be deadly. If someone has a poor diet AND sits for long periods of time, they are looking at an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Here are a few simple things that I do during the day. When you don't have the time to exercise or don't feel like it, these are easy to manage.

1. Get up every 20 minutes, even if it's just to go pour more coffee, get off your ass. If you feel like it, do some light stretches while you're up.

2. If you have a dog, walk him. A 2o minute walk will do you both good.

3. If you work at home, like lots of writers do, work on your laundry between pages.

4. Take a 30 minute break to clean the house. By the time you finish the next chapter you'll have less to do later AND you'll have gotten some work done.

5. Go outside for a few minutes. Even if you love vampires, sunlight is not your enemy. It helps your body absorb vitamin D and prevents depression. (Another condition many writers suffer from.)

I hope some of these tips have helped and will be received in the spirit they are offered. I'm not trying to point a finger at big asses. Mine is not perfect. I'm trying to point out that if we want to keep working at this dream job we call writing, we need to take care of ourselves.


Stacy Green said...

Great tips. I have to move a fair amount because I have back and hip problems, so that helps me. But I don't need any assistance with my butt getting bigger, so I'm going to be extra diligent, lol!

Tracey H. Kitts said...

LOL My hips hurt also if I sit for very long, so I have to keep active. I injured them running a few years back. Needless to say, I don't run now unless something is chasing me. :)