Authors and exercise

Apparently my kids debated long and hard over the pros (loves gadgets) and cons ( inclined towards OCD  ) before giving me a Jawbone UP band  for my birthday. The UP band is a sophisticated pedometer/sleep/diet monitor you wear on your wrist, the results of which you analyse at your convenience on your smart phone. I love this little gadget, even though it has yielded some rather shocking revelations.

Writing is a health hazard – I’ve always known that – and I used to feel pretty virtuous about working out on the cross trainer every afternoon. This strenuous burst of activity surely made up for the fact that I had been lying in bed writing or sitting at my desk with barely a muscle twitch in anything but my 2 hyperactive writing fingers. But according to the Upband, one burst of activity during a largely sedentary day is just not good enough. Time to change my routine, I decided; ‘walk to work’ on the treadmill and ‘walk home ‘ every afternoon when my writing day is finished. That’s worked great. I now easily achieve the 10,000 plus recommended steps you’re supposed to do per day for a healthy  lifestyle.

And zero word count.

Yes, zero.

Once I’ve walked to work the last thing I seem to be able to do is sit down and write. The kitchen’s a mess and must be tidied. Better put that washing on. Let the chooks out. Pull those weeds. Is that water pipe squirting away our precious water? Better make some healthy soup for lunch now that I am leading such an exceedingly healthy lifestyle. The long and the short is I am so charged up with oxygen to the brain that I can’t seem to sit down, unless it’s to write emails or glance at facebook or twitter – I mean it’s taken weeks to update this blog, dammit!

So, the question for my author/editor friends is how do you write and manage a healthy lifestyle? I’d love to know how you do it. If you’re not too busy writing please leave a comment.

Time to walk home now…

7 thoughts on “Authors and exercise

  1. I gained a lot of weight recently due to a recurring knee problem and micro human sleep disturbers. But recently I’ve fixed my diet and started doing more exercise and I’ve dropped 10kgs and am back to healthy bodyfat levels.

    I think the trick is working out when the best times for writing are and when the best times for exercising are. I found getting up to take the the dog for a walk to the park was great for getting me up in the morning for a change and meant my writing was less interrupted. I also lift weights, so I try to get that out of the way before dinner so evenings are free.

    Procrastination is still my biggest enemy on both.

    • I still don’t know how you manage to fit everything in Tyson!

      ‘I think the trick is working out when the best times for writing are and when the best times for exercising are.’

      I agree, but unfortunately it’s the same time for both with me. it’s hard to change a routine that has worked so well over the years, writing-wise, though not so health-wise 😦

      • I don’t fit everything in is the truth. My novel is way past my desired finish date. Although, I’m thinking of going to 3 days a week at work to play dad more seriously and use the nap times as writing.

        Have you found that exercise time also makes a great plotting and reflection time?

      • I wasn’t sure if you were currently working full-time or not – now I’m even more impressed! When I was at uni with 3 kids under 5 I found Sesame St and Play School to be great study aids.
        ‘Have you found that exercise time also makes a great plotting and reflection time?’
        Definitely. Pre dodgy back I used to walk the country roads listening to audio books and reflect on my writing. Now I watch docos from the treadmill/ cross trainer. It’s amazing that something so disparate from my own work can trigger so many ideas…

  2. Thanks for the terrific blog Fe. The issues you’ve raised must certainly be pertinent to most writers. Keeping the curse of what I term – “Dead Bum Syndrome” – away, is difficult. Effectively, being a writer is as you allude to, like being a statue. And being a living statue isn’t conducive to good health, well, that I know of. This is my attempt at keeping fit – I’m up at six every morning and do a mix of housework, gardening and office work until around ten when I begin writing. This low level of activity is enough to fool me into thinking that I’m keeping fit while feeling quite virtuous about how my house n’ garden is something out of Home Beautiful. I do try and go cycling at least twice a week.

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