Do you get all your ideas while you look at the screen? Do you generate all your new material while you are sitting at a desk? If you’re anything like me, the answer to these questions is “No.” And as I’ve worked at finding out more about the habits of “successful writers”, a recurring theme is that it’s good to step away from the notepad.
Whether you’re blogging, working on an article or crafting a new chapter, writing is sedentary. There’s almost no way around it. Even if you sit on one of those gigantic bouncy balls instead of a regular chair, you’re still, you know, sitting. Lots of writers talk about how getting fresh air and exercise helps them. Stephen King and Anne Lamott both make hikes and walks a regular part of their days. J.K. Rowling is quoted as saying, “Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.” Charles Dickens, Henry Thoreau, William Wordsworth all walked.
The trick for me is that I live in Minnesota.
And I’m a wuss.
I’ve tried being that hearty person who can venture out in -20 degrees and feel invigorated. But mostly I just feel cranky and uncomfortable. But because it is frequently so cold here in the winter, I had to find something I could do to get my heart rate going.
It had to be cheap.
It had to be convenient.
Some people do better if they leave the house and work their exercise into their daily routine, either before work or on the way home. It just so happens that I stay home with the kids, so if I was to leave, the facility would need to provide childcare. It’s a lot of work getting kids out of the house, and when we had a membership at the YMCA, I found that it sucked up a two hour chunk of time by the time we got checked in, I worked out and showered and we got home. And the kids weren’t crazy about the childcare at that specific Y.
I decided it is more efficient for me to exercise at home. I take walks when I can, but when it is icy or freezing, I had to find an alternative.
I’ve gotten a lot of use out of Jillian Michels 30 Day Shred. It has three levels and each session is only 20 minutes but by the end I feel like I’ve actually gotten a decent work out. I picked it up at Target and it is still a great routine even after having it for more than two years. 30 Day Shred Workout – JillianMichaels.com
If you can get some fresh air, that’s probably better. But if it is bitterly cold where you are, at least some physical movement might just get your creative juices flowing.
Do you make time for exercise? What do you do to get moving? I’d love to hear from you.