by Myra Johnson
January is speeding swiftly away, and (if I were to hazard a guess) so are many of our New Year’s resolutions. So to help us get back on track, I’d like to talk about . . . well, actually I would rather NOT talk about . . . the dreaded E word.
Not Entering manuscript contests.
Blame the guilt trip my doctor gives me every year during my annual physical-which I foolishly scheduled last month exactly two days after Christmas. Getting on that scale? Not fun!
If fitting exercise into your daily writing routine comes easily, congratulations! But if you’re like me, a veritable computer-potato, incentives are crucial.
In writing lingo, we might think in terms of GOAL-MOTIVATION-CONFLICT–RESOLUTION.
The Mayo Clinic lists seven key benefits (let’s call them GOALS) for exercise:
1. Improve your mood.
2. Combat chronic diseases.
3. Manage your weight.
4. Strengthen your heart and lungs.
5. Sleep better.
6. Put the spark back in romance.
7. Have fun!
If those reasons aren’t enough to get you exercising, here’s some MOTIVATION especially for writers:
That brings us to CONFLICT-our many excuses for not exercising. Here are a few of mine:
1. I don’t like to sweat.
2. Why waste 30 minutes I could have used for writing?
3. Sitting at my computer, I get stuck in the inertia of immobility.
4. Exercise is boring.
5. I usually strain something and then hurt for the next six months.
It’s tough to admit, but each of these excuses has a logical RESOLUTION:
1. Sweat less on a slow or moderately paced walk, which still offers some benefit.
2. Multi-task. Listen to a recorded conference workshop while you exercise. Build or buy a treadmill desk and walk while you check email, browse favorite writing blogs, or read a craft book.
3. While writing, set a timer for every 30-45 minutes. Each time it goes off, take a five-minute break to run up and down the stairs or do some stretches.
4. Try different activities. A dance workout video. Free weights. Exercise ball. Swimming. Walking the dogs. Workouts seems easier when I’m listening to music that makes me want to move.
5. Don’t try to make up for six months of inactivity in a single week. Start slowly and build up. If you feel a twinge, ease off.
What are the most effective ways you’ve found to work exercise into your routine? Do you have a favorite workout? Any videos, equipment, apps, etc., you recommend?
My personal favorites:
It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get up and move. In fact, here’s a website where you can estimate how many calories different activities burn per hour. http://www.caloriesperhour.com/index_burn.php
So are you with me? Let’s write a happy ending to this story and get moving!
Award-winning author Myra Johnson is a Texan through and through, but (especially after the Midwest’s Christmas blizzard) she and her husband of 40 years have no regrets about their 2011 move to the Carolinas. Myra currently serves as president of the ACFW chapter Carolina Christian Writers. Her latest release is A Horseman’s Hope (Heartsong Presents).