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The Healthy Writer and Exercise

Liz here.

Diana and Jen have already given you some great advice. Most of it, I already do. The rest of it, I’m going to work on incorporating into my life. 

Like Jen, I have fibromyalgia. One thing I’ve found that really helps is exercise. Especially when I don’t feel well, exercise is all the more important. It helps to warm and stretch my muscles and sharpen my thinking. 

I walk just about every day, three miles each day. For me, that works. So, how do you start an exercise regimen? (As always, talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program.)

     1.  Find a time that works for you and be consistent. I get up at 5:20 a.m. to take my walk. It means that it’s often dark, so I wear a reflective vest and a headlamp. My little Jack Russell terrier even has a flashing red light on her collar. Why do I torture myself with getting up so early? Because it’s what works for me. If I try to do it at any other time of the day (and I’ve tried), I come up with a million excuses. Life gets busy and exercise doesn’t happen. 

     2. Find something you like to do and stick with it. I love to walk outside. I hate the treadmill. So, I’m out there every morning in just about all kinds of weather. At that time of the morning, the world is so still and quiet, the air fresh and clean. It’s great. What is it you like to do? Run? Swim? Lift weights? Then do it! And you’d be surprised how many calories you can burn by gardening, vacuuming, washing the floors, even running up and down stairs with the laundry. 

3. You don’t have to spend a ton of money. I walk outside. That’s an investment in good tennis once a year. My vest and headlamp weren’t expensive and last a long time. That’s it! The rest is free. No expensive gym membership required. If you go online, you can find videos for dance fitness, yoga, and other exercises that don’t take a lot of cash.

4. Find an accountability partner. Someone you have to answer to. It’s amazing how you’ll get out there and exercise when you have to report to someone. You can even post it to Facebook through apps. My dog is a great accountability partner. If I skip a couple of days, she lets me know!

All of us have many, many stories to tell. Staying healthy by exercising will give us more years to write them all! How do you incorporate exercise into your life?

The Healthy Writer, part 2

Jen here: 

I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. The RA has been progressively worse this year, and we haven't found a treatment to work yet. And I've met many writers with fibro. Even if you don't have a chronic disease, writing can be hard on your body. 

Did you know sitting is now being considered as dangerous to your health as smoking? And what do we as writers do? We sit. A lot. Because the only thing that gets books written is BIC time. Butt in chair time.

The good news is there are a few things we can do. Diana mentioned the standing desk. I got one too. I use a gel kitchen mat when I'm standing. And when I'm sitting I often use an exercise ball like this. Amazon link. 

I started with an exercise ball back when I worked in publishing. The ball requires you to engage your core so you might need to work up to it. Also be careful you don't turn to get something and end up rolling yourself in the floor. They make exercise ball chairs now, too, that solve this problem. My problem, once I moved my office home, was that the kids would take off with it. They thought it was fun. 

You are the biggest investment you have in your career. It makes sense to take good care of yourself. I  regularly do yoga to help with fibro pain and maintain strength, balance, and flexibility. I eat low carb, gluten free, and as organic and unprocessed as I can. I got my hormones regulated so I can sleep well.  All of those have added up. But everyone is different ,and it takes some time to chase down what you need to do to be your best self. But everyone can spend time in nature, getting fresh air, and listening to God. 

Be the writer God created you to be.

Healthy Writer Part 1

3 Changes to Become a Healthy Writer

Diana here:

A self-employed writer can’t get sick. At least, that’s what we’d like to think because there are deadlines, marketing and writing blog posts that must be done.

Is there a way to prevent getting ill? No. But there are ways a writer can live healthier.

Sitting is bad if you do it all day. Not only does it shorten your life, but it also leads to needing more chiropractic adjustments, massages, and weight gain.

This past year I’ve added three things to my life to improve my health. A FitBit One to track my steps, a Varidesk to get me standing for part of the day and the Trim Healthy Mama diet

The FitBit One surprised me since I was sure I moved a lot opening the door multiple times for the cats. That’s up and down out of the chair so it’s like a workout, right?

Nope. Turns out I walked less than 300 steps a day. Now I do 10,000 or 7,000 if I’m adding Eccentrics or Classical Stretch which is a stretch and toning class, and killer workout that fools you into thinking it’s easy.

The Varidesk was pricey, but it’s paid for itself by reducing the amount of chiropractor visits for adjustments, and when I do go it’s for my stiff neck. It comes with an app for your phone or computer that will let you know when to stand or sit.

The other surprise has been the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Cookbook. This diet lets you eat well. This morning's breakfast? A cinnamon roll muffin with icing. Sweet joy! And yes, you lose weight and fast. Being thinner is a good thing for a writer who sits too much.  Look on Pinterest and FaceBook for THM and you’ll find groups and recipes to make it easier to figure out.

None of these will prevent this writer from getting a cold, the flu or make hypothyroidism disappear, but by doing them, I will feel better, recover quicker and get back to writing sooner.

Now, the only fear is tech neck. Did you know there is such a thing? Bending your head to look at screens is causing early neck aging! Where is that coconut oil? 

How are you staying healthy Pencildancer readers?

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