Monday 8 October 2012

Writing from Home - You don't have to be an unhealthy Author

Part I

There are a lot of us writing or working from home – a job which requires far too much sitting around, leaving us in a bit of a tight spot when it comes to staying healthy. Sitting for long periods of time is not the best way to work, however, fortunately for us we can find ways to stay active.

Actually I love to exercise, but it’s not always easy when I am busy homeschooling, writing, looking after animals and maintaining a house and garden. I thought the best way to start this was to let you in on what I do and how I’ve organized my day.

The first thing is this: each day I get up and I ‘owe’ the bike, the treadmill, the exercise mat and the weights 10 minutes or so, each.  This kind of takes the pressure off of me, because it doesn’t matter how I go about putting in these minutes, as long as they are in.

Throughout the day then, when I need a break or a stretch or just to move around, I go into the exercise room to burn off some of those minutes. The children usually go in there with me, crank the music up and we each do something physical for the next 5 or 10 minutes. 

It’s not a long period of time, sort of mini-sessions – I have many other things to do, and exercise tends to give me ideas I need to go and write down LOL. 

When the sun is shining or when it is not raining we might be found outside on the trampoline, walking, in the garden, moving bales of hay into the duck pen and so forth. But, even with these other activities, I still ‘owe’ time in the exercise room and work at paying it down throughout the day.

If you have been on your arse for a little while, already today, start to train yourself to become aware of the fact that you are sitting. About every ½ hour or so, get up and get moving – even if it’s housework, stretching, deep breathing or pacing the floor trying to get a sentence to work (smile).

As long as you’re moving, right? 

What I love about exercising at home is that it doesn’t take very much to get started and keep going – we started out with a skipping rope and a mini trampoline. Hubby is a personal trainer, so we have a little more serious gym then most, but only after years of collecting pieces. It takes only motivation, imagination and to be tired of stagnation to get going with this…. 

Here’s an outline:

Plan on moving about, stretching and taking mini breaks at least every hour – sitting for such long periods of time is unhealthy and has been known to contribute to many health problems. One of the most obvious would be weight gain, but there are some more serious ones too. 

Here are a few more ideas – 

Get up and move around frequently, stretch, take deep breaths – this is absolutely vital for health and fitness

Take short power walks outside – rain or shine, get out there and get some fresh air in your lungs, better yet, run, jog, skip and act like you enjoy it! 

Exercise in the house on rainy (or any day) day! Exercise is not limited to outside – have a skipping rope or a mini rebounder near your desk, these can be used frequently to keep lymph flowing and you feeling great.

Eat small meals and don’t scarf your food down all at once. Eat lighter, smaller meals of carefully prepared foods. Your digestion will be far more efficient  and you will feel better for it.

Drink plenty of clean fresh water – try to find a source of well or spring water, your body requires water to cleanse on the inside as well as outside, it’s not 66% water for nothing. All body functions require this elixir of life.

Practice fasting – if you are not sure how to proceed there are lots of blogs, books and information out there on healthy intermittent fasting and Master Cleanses (you can even read mine!) – these can be used to clear the mind and body, replenish and rejuvenate the system as well as boost ideas and creativity.

It has long been mentioned how so many writers are such coffee addicts – caffeine being a stimulant can make you feel anxious, nervous or tired (yes!). Perhaps you might replace some of these with a herbal tea (peppermint, nettle, chamomile) or herbal coffee (dandelion coffee, Barley coffee, nut coffees), water or hot water and lemon for those who like something hot. Just to try something different…

I have long associated exercise, physical activity and movement with increased creativity. Not to mention blood flow to the brain, extremities and boosting health. If you want to feel better, write better and be more efficient with your time- incorporate exercise. 

You always have time to look after yourself - your time is your own. 


The Way to Exercise by April Danann

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