Writer Fitness: Tips For Becoming A More Active and Productive You
by Amy O'Quinn
When a new year rolls around, we often take stock of our health and fitness levels. Usually this includes setting goals to make improvements in this area. And let’s face it, writing is definitely a sedentary job where our brains and fingers do most of the
Unless we make an intentional effort to become more active, a whole day can go by and we’ve done little walking or moving—except to leave our desks to make quick trips to the refrigerator, bathroom, or mailbox. This is certainly not the optimum. However, when we feel better, we tend to do better quality work.
Below are just a few tips for writers to increase activity levels and enjoy greater vitality and health and help you get started on the path to a more active and productive you.
Wear an Activity Tracker
I have a FitBit One Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker, and it has become my exercise conscience and cheerleader. I only thought I got enough exercise before I got this handy little gadget, but I was seriously mistaken. My FitBit counts my daily steps, stairs climbed, calories burned, and even tracks the number of hours I sleep.
I aim to walk 10,000 steps and 5 miles a day, and as I sync my FitBit, I can tell whether I am on track to attain those numbers or not. When I reach my goal, I receive virtual awards and happy faces. My FitBit One keeps me accountable and aware of my activity levels, and therefore I seem to work harder to make sure I reach my set goals.
Take Ten After Sixty
People who spend long periods of time at a desk or computer should aim to take at least a ten minute stretching/walking break after each hour of sitting. Good circulation is crucial, and sitting all the time won’t get the job done. Set a timer if you must, but get up and move at regular intervals.
Schedule Intentional Exercise Each Day
Although short stretch breaks throughout the day are necessary, a longer ‘scheduled’ exercise period is wise. Perhaps you can break up your work day into blocks—morning, lunch, early afternoon, exercise time, and later afternoon. Even taking a brisk walk for thirty minutes will release chemicals called endorphins which elevate your mood and ward off anxiety and feelings of depression. The fresh air and sunshine will revive your spirit and energize you for another work session.
Drink Your Water
Water keeps all of our systems functioning properly, and it is truly the liquid of life. Keep a water bottle on your desk and sip often. Plus, the more water you drink, the more often you will have to get up and walk to the restroom. Win-win!
Eat Balanced Meals and Limit Mindless Snacking
Make a conscious effort to limit mindless snacking and have better options available if you find you are someone who constantly needs to chew on something. Then, you won’t come out of your little writing world to discover you’ve eaten a whole bag of potato chips or half a package of cookies.
Also, plan nutritious and balanced meals and eat them at designated breaks. Take time out to truly enjoy your food and give your mind a rest.
Better Health and More Energy = Higher Productivity
Any little thing you can do to increase your fitness level is a plus, and you might just find you are more energetic and productive than you’ve ever been before! What are you waiting for? As the old proverb states, every journey begins with a single step—or two!
*Article originally appeared on The Work Writer's Club website HERE.