Just how much of a healthy author are you? Do you sit while you write? On the couch? At the desk? How many hours a day are you sitting? Let’s just go with That’s Not Healthy and you need to get some fitness!
Now, I know you need to be at the laptop so to help you get moving, I’ve come up with some i
deas. Staying fit stimulates your brain and will help you solve problems, create characters, brainstorm story ideas, write longer and more efficiently. Fitness will even help take away anxiety or frustration. Don’t take my word for. Get up and get moving and see for yourself.
Healthy Author Tip #1 – Get up early!
I hate getting up early but I do like to workout because it helps me stay focused. I do it first thing in the morning to make sure I get it in. It also gives me time to meditate.
Healthy Author Tip #2 – Plan out your workouts a month at a time
Go with a plan and you’ll always go. I workout six days a week. Every day is a cardio day – 30 minutes on a treadmill, bike, elliptical or out in the sun. Every other day is an abs day.
Healthy Author Tip #3 – Go mid-morning or mid-afternoon
I know I said I workout in the morning, but if you’re just not gonna get out of bed, go mid-morning or mid-afternoon. The gym is more likely to be empty and you won’t have to fight for equipment. These are also the best times to take a break from your writing.
Healthy Author Tip #4 – Bring your tablet for the treadmill
I read or listen to podcast on the treadmill. I can keep up with the news or the industry or learn something new or keep myself motivated. The Rich Roll Podcast is my favorite when I need motivation. Two birds, one stone.
(Load up the podcasts: Mark Dawson, Grammar Girl, Kindlepreneur, NPR, The Creative Penn)
Something else I did was put a wooden slab on my treadmill and then put the treadmill right beside the couch in front of the TV in the basement. When I sit down, I can just hear that treadmill laughing at me. So, rather than sitting and watching TV, I walk on the treadmill and watch or I can work on my manuscript.
Monday & Thursday are chest and biceps. Tuesday & Friday are back and triceps. Wednesday & Saturday are shoulders and legs.
Weights increase muscle mass which helps keep your metabolism high and calories burning. With that kind of energy, you could write for hours.
Healthy Author Tip #6 – High Intensity Interval Training Workouts
Fastest way to get in shape, period! Besides these workouts don’t take up too much of your day and you’ll be ready to knock out another 1,000 words when you’re done. My two favorite types of these are Rounds for Time (RFT- like 10 rounds of 5 burpees/5 kettlebell swings/10 situps/1/4 mile run as fast as you can. This would take like 20-25 minutes) and As Many Rounds as Possible in a certain amount of time (AMRAP – how many rounds of the burpees/swings/situp/run combo can you do in say 15 minutes. This might be four or five for me.) Yes, some people call this functional fitness or CrossFit or HIIT. Call it what you want, it’s awesome!
Healthy Author Tip #7 – Attend a class
Classes keep you honest. With a certain start time, you can plan your day around it. Besides, you might make a friend or two and all that alone time spent writing can be offset with new friends.
Healthy Author Tip #8 – Have an accountability partner
Partners also keep you honest. Write together, workout together. The hubs is my workout partner. He pushes me. Sometimes to the point of a blubbering idiot, but I know I’ll workout if he’s around.
Healthy Author Tip #9 – Get outside
Walking, especially outside, triggers dopamine. That feel-good hormone zaps me and I can brainstorm any plot problem I’m having with my manuscript. My favorite place to walk in Virginia is a loop on Ft Myer that runs under a canopy of massive oak trees lining streets with homes from the turn of the century. Soooo relaxing!
I know this is a post about fitness, but hand-in-hand with that is your nutrition. Your doc tells you to eat your veggies for a reason. Spinach is good for memory and your Popeye biceps!
Disclaimer: I’m no doctor, but I can promise you nothing but good returns on your health and your writing after you workout!