One of the biggest downsides to writing has got to be the fact that so much time is spent sitting down in front of a computer. For a person who leans towards a sedentary lifestyle at the best of times, this has really not been a good development for me when it comes to my health. I now seem to spend so much time in front of my computer that I've gone from sedentary to practically comatose. My situation has been compounded by the fact that four months ago I moved to a "town" (I use the term loosely) where there is nothing to do. And I mean that literally. We are 56kms from the largest real town and even there choices for recreation are limited.
So what's a girl to do? The best form of exercise and the one I have always enjoyed the most is walking. There are a lot of dirt roads around my house which I could in theory traverse everyday for exercise. The problem is not just motivation (and sheer laziness), but also fear. When you've spent most of your life in the city it can be hard to get used to being in the wide open spaces without another human being in sight. When you have a very overactive imagination like me it's even worse because you begin to imagine all sorts of terrible scenarios involving serial killers and rabid dogs appearing out of nowhere. These are not very comforting thoughts on a lonely stretch where no one can hear you scream.
Once upon a time many years ago I used to be an aerobics junkie and I do know what it's like to have an exercise high. The only problem is it takes a lot of sweat and effort to get to this point and this is where my great plans to get fit always get stuck. Thankfully I now have a couple of jobs where I'm on my feet for most of the day, but I've written this entry to try to inspire myself and hopefully others to get out there and start moving again.
Here are some tips for writers to help stay active:
1. Have a set time that you will spend in front of the computer and stick to it. Without this time limit I find that hours pass where the only part of my body moving is my fingers.
2. Use exercise time to think about your WIP or come up with new ideas for stories. This will help to make exercise more enjoyable and productive.
3. Develop an exercise plan that is realistic and incorporates things you enjoy. Find a buddy if you can, or join an online forum where you can chat with people who are also trying to improve their fitness - just don't use this as an excuse to spend more time on the computer and less time exercising!
4. Don't spend long periods of time slumped in front of the computer. Get up frequently and go for a walk around the house, or do something physical that will help to refresh and energize you, even if it's just for a few minutes.
5. Do stretches at your desk to prevent stiffness and get the blood pumping.
6. Every now and then put on your favourite music and dance like a crazy person.
Now I've just got to start taking my own advice! This picture is frighteningly realistic.