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Get moving!

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 E-mail.

Not Edits.

Not Entering manuscript contests.

Nope. Exercise.

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:

Exercise boosts brain power!

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:

Wii Fit Plus
Couch to 5K running plan
Motion GPS app for iPhone

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).

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17 Responses to Get moving!

  1. Myra, Great advice. Got to move from the “do as I say” side of the room to the “do as I do” group. Thanks for the shove.

  2. I was going to groan but then I saw these suggestions…

    Couch to 5K running plan
    Motion GPS app for iPhone

    Now this is something I can do!

    Thanks, Myra.

  3. Dora Hiers says:

    I’m with you, Myra!

    My dog insists on a walk around the park after lunch, but on days like today where the temp’s hovering around 40, it’s not happening…

    I’m with Richard. Thanks for the shove, er, nudge. lol.

  4. Yeesh, Myra, if I wanted someone to make me feel guilty, I’d have gone to see my mom!!!!!!!!!
    I promise I’ll take a walk as soon as this cold snap eases. And the Spring rains end, except I hate walking in the heat of summer. And autumn around here is hunting season. Me and high powered deer rifles…bad mix.

    Signed
    Mary “The Queen of Excuses” Connealy

  5. Myra Johnson says:

    Hi, Doc & Tina! Yep, I need to take my own advice–LOL! I’ve gotten lazy again the last couple of weeks. Every time I start up the Couch to 5K program, I end up doing week 2 or 3 over and over again. And for the intervals I don’t run, I just walk faster. Getting a wee bit too old for jogging! (At least that’s my excuse.)

  6. Myra Johnson says:

    I don’t know, Mary. I’m pretty good at making excuses, too. For me, exercise is a 4-letter word! And, as the saying goes, all things in moderation. I wouldn’t want to overdo it and maybe hurt myself.

  7. Great post, Myra! I needed your push as well. Actually, I need a major shove, so you may have to drive down the highway and give me one.

    I have to say my two favorites are Zumba and the My Fitness Pal app.

    Now it’s time I start using them again!

  8. Anna Labno says:

    I started to exercise when the doctor told me it would do me good if I did five days per week. I couldn’t manage that, but I kept it to four days per week for one hour for the last six months.
    I run for about two miles and tone my muscles. It wasn’t easy. On some days it felt great, on some didn’t.
    Though I congratulate myself. I did stick to it and continue to do so. I started slow at the beginning.

    My advice would be to make it, so it would work with your schedule. Yes, stretch yourself to commitment but don’t shoot big right away. For some, it might be six days, for others two. If you will expect too much of yourself, you will quit. Resentment and guilt will eat your insides.

  9. LOL … GREAT post, Myra … with just the perfect amount of guilt to get you to click on some of those links …

    Gosh, I think you need to repeat this as a Seeker blog next January, sweetie — this is good stuff!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

  10. Myra Johnson says:

    Dora, sorry I missed your comment earlier! Nope, I’m not heading out unless the temps are more like 55+. And sunny. And did I mention no wind?

  11. Myra Johnson says:

    Missy, I bet Zumba is really fun! I’ve tried our Wii Just Dance 3 game a few times, but, um, there’s a slight coordination issue. Plus I get out of breath REALLY fast.

  12. Myra Johnson says:

    Anna, you are so right–if we overdo exercise from the start, we’ll either burn out quickly or seriously hurt something.

    But an hour a day??? I admire you, girl! I just can’t make myself work that hard. Thirty minutes is about my limit.

  13. Myra Johnson says:

    LOL, Julie–clicking on links does NOT count as exercise!!! These days I’m hoping several trips up and down the stairs will suffice. Lately it seems like there’s always something more “urgent” than exercise. (Notice I didn’t say more important.)

  14. Sandra says:

    Hi Myra, Yep, those reasons are for real. They work for me. I do feel better when I exercise. In fact, my day doesn’t go right without it.

    Thanks for reminding us of the importance of keeping those blood cells running around in our amazing bodies.

  15. Myra Johnson says:

    Yes, I do feel better when I exercise, Sandra. More stamina for other things. Wish it wasn’t so easy to make excuses!

    Oh boy, my own blog post is making me feel guilty!

  16. Anna Labno says:

    I never tried Zumba or anything like it. Maybe, I should try it out. I love dancing.

  17. Myra Johnson says:

    Zumba has to be more fun than housecleaning–which was my “exercise of necessity” today. Still a bit on the chilly side here to go out walking.