Fitness

To me this is an important subject, especially if you are a writer. I'm generalizing here, but people who spend all day writing are not getting enough exercise; we sit a lot, snack a lot, we miss out on getting essential fresh air and sunlight, we even hold off on bathroom breaks. And what do we do the second we get away from the computer? We read, or go to a bookstore to get a book . . . to read. Or we sleep. It's the one thing I truly dislike about being an active writer. Lord help me with this vanity, but I do not want a pancake butt in exchange for a best selling novel. So . . . I exercise as much as possible. I take breaks. I take walks. I get away from the computer.

Here are some of what I've found to be the best exercises to keep a body in good shape:

Knee bends and squats. A really good squat involves not letting your heels leave the floor. Keep those heels down and lower your butt to the floor and back up again. It feels weird at first, but it really works those muscles. The thing about keeping your heel down is that it keeps pressure off your knees, transferring it to your thighs--which is exactly where you want the tension. Buns and thighs, yaya . . .

Stomach crunches. I've done all of the various, painful, vomit inducing crunches and found a simple one that really works. Hands behind head, raise your forehead to your knees with your butt lifting off the floor. Release, and let your feet tap down quickly before repeating. Do it until you can feel it. The thing about muscles is this: to build muscle the fibers inside need to rip a little, which they then rebuild with amino acids. The pain you feel afterwards is that ripping and rebuilding! It's also the reason many people reach a plateau and need to increase tension to keep building. But, I'm more of a maintainer person, myself.

Weights. I have ten pound and fifteen pound weights that I lift daily to keep my arms toned (though I wish they were a bit more than they are!). If you dangle the weight behind your back and draw it up high--like the Statue of Liberty--you can really help those underarm flabs. Pushups helps too. 

If you don't like doing any of these, think about taking a walk every day. Or use something like a Wii Fit. But we--all of us--need to remember how much frequent sitting wrecks our health. There are ways to keep in shape. Remember to drink water, try to eat well, and take vitamins. All of this will not only help your body, but your brain. And a healthy brain means you can give your best to your writing. 

Comments

  1. Good advice Amy, now if only I could get myself to move.

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    1. You can do it! Do you want me to send Jane Fonda to your house?

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  2. Quite right, but my body has gone haywire despite being a failed writer who carries around his own bodyweight every day as a matter of course.

    Sometimes I am required to carry around other people's bodies as well, but I would rather not talk about that. That's REALLY hard work.

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    1. I think you're an excellent writer, not only in technique but in how quality and quantity. But you have a definite gift of style.

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    2. I want to add: sometimes I'm amazed by how well you write and how profile you are. If you're ever interested in freelancing, try Duotrope.com to look through different markets. I think you could really find some success--but I know how hard it is to submit and get rejected. It's not easy at first!

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  3. Excellent advice, Amy. If I could only practice what you preach, my belly would be thankful and so would Jan ...

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  4. I went back to the gym last week and I am SO blasted sore!! my lower back has been hurting and the trainer gal there said that, when you sit for too many hours in a day, the front of your hip muscles actually shorten. yup..they literally shrink - which causes lower back imbalance/pain. So, I'm right here with you on this and wish I had been just a little more active and not let it get so bad.

    happy holiday weekend!

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    1. I hadn't heard that, *cringe*. It doesn't seem fair. We're all trying so hard to write the best and the most that we can, but our bodies are failing us! I hope you feel better!

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  5. I am a walker. Not only is it good for my body, but also for my mind. I do my best thinking during those times to clear the cobwebs away. I am down two sizes since last year and seem to be maintaining, even though I have not been as active lately.

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    1. Good for you! That's pretty darn impressive.

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  6. I'm with Arleen; a good long walk does the trick for me; this usually involves running after two errant dogs. But best is swimming; sadly too early yet.

    I don't think you should need extra vitamins!

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  7. Very good advice -- walking is my saving grace -- it really helps living near a town centre -- we walk everywhere. 10 and 15 pound weights? I would have a hard time with that, I think! But if it gets rid of flabby arms I'll give it a try!

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