As writers, there is nothing better than finding ourselves in the creative zone of genius, furiously pumping out words for hours at a time. Before you realize it, you’ve gone a whole day sitting in one spot, realizing only when you stand up that your joints should not sound like popping bubble wrap.
It’s possible that the very thing we love—getting lost in the words for hours at a time—could be contributing to our declining health. Recent studies published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA) suggest that even very moderate exercise can help decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
Chances are you’ve ticked more than one of the risk factor boxes. Most of us do. So how do we beat back our slothful tendencies while also staying in the creative flow? Here are some tips.
- Timed Standing Breaks Every Hour.
Set an alarm on your watch or computer to remind you to stand up, even for a few minutes, and be sure you do it. Most smartwatches have this functionality built-in with no need for an extra app. Don’t make this a huge endeavor. Simply stretch, touch your toes and get the blood flowing for 2-3 minutes.
- Stay Hydrated
Without proper hydration, your body won’t want to move. Keep a water bottle near you at all times. Apps like Waterminder are great for tracking your intake as well as reminding you when you should drink more.
- Consider a Standing Desk or Dictate While Walking
There are documented benefits for using a standing desk. While standing doesn’t burn significantly more calories than sitting, it does provide some benefit in reducing pain and inflammation, and studies show that blood sugar levels regulate more quickly. Walking, however, is an excellent low-impact method of exercise, and some authors prefer to multitask—dictating their first drafts while also taking a stroll around the block.
Start small. Make and keep little promises to yourself to move more. The inertia of getting up several times a day will train your body and your brain to crave more movement, and you’ll find that it becomes easier over time. And who knows? The words you create while caring for your body could become a big gain to your readership and bank account too.