|I'm ready for my walk!|
Writers are mostly on their butts doing what they love to do, but our bodies were made to move. I used to write first thing in the morning to get my word count, but as the day blossomed, exercise went on the back burner. So I kick-start my day by either doing free weights, abdominal exercises, and push-ups, or riding on my stationary bike for 25-30 minutes. There’s an added bonus for exercising on the bike—I can read from my TBR pile!
Once the exercise routine is done in the morning, I feel recharged and ready to start the rest of the day writing, planning, marketing, or promoting my books. I still try to get up and stretch every 30-45 minutes, and then there’s my faithful companion—a spoiled yellow Labrador—that insists he be walked every day at 2 pm sharp. That’s non-negotiable.
Another healthy lifestyle tip for writers is to take breaks throughout the day. The truth is—we all need to periodically step away. We skip breaks in the name of “getting one more page written,” but when we don’t break from our work, our productivity suffers. We lose focus. We start making small mistakes and even forget things altogether. Our bodies have a natural ebb-and-flow response to stress that allows us to work hard and then relax and recover. The problem comes when we chronically trigger those responses. We become all flow and no ebb, and you can only cheat the system so long before it becomes counterproductive. Set a timer if you must, or download an app that will remind you to pull away from your task, but for the sake of your health, give yourself a break!
|Your friendly reminder...|
Want another reason to rest and recharge your writing muscles? I find if I overuse my computer mouse—whether writing a novel, editing, blogging, or engaging in social media—my wrist starts to throb. Then I know it’s time to put on a wrist brace, and rest my hand as much as possible. Or switch up and use my other hand! Eye strain happens more when I’m revising and proofing. Sometimes I use an eye patch to give my sore eye a rest. The one thing writers don’t want to screw around with is the health of their eyes. So take frequent breaks when proofing or editing. Your eyes will thank you. The key for me is that as a writer, I’ve learned to listen to my body. I stop if it hurts. I rest. Stretch if I need to release the kinks. It’s pretty much all common sense.
One more thing. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body needs lubrication. Water massages your major organs, flushes toxins from your body, increases energy and relieves fatigue. And if that wasn’t enough to get you periodically up out of your seat to go grab a glass or bottle of water, drinking enough water can also help with weight loss. A bonus for any writer who doesn’t want to drag around that secretarial spread behind them. So, drink to your health, and bottoms up!