Overcoming the Sedentary Lifestyle
For an eyeopening experience, every writer should read this article from Hopkin’s Medicine detailing how a sedentary lifestyle can destroy your heart health. They call it “Sitting Disease”, and writers are particularly at risk.
I recommend everybody track their steps, with a fitness tracker, your phone or a simple pedometer. We usually recommend a target of 10,000 steps a day. But if you’re very sedentary, any improvement will be beneficial. If you only get 2,000 steps a day, try to aim for 4,000.Erin Donnelly Michos, M.D., M.H.S.
The trouble with writers is that we don’t often want to stop the writing. We’re glued to that computer as we peck out a few more sentences. It’s a lifestyle mistake we must resist.
A more active lifestyle is the only way to avoid the dangers of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure that can result from inactivity. Here are a few ways for writers to get the lead out even while they’re writing:
- Develop the habit of pacing while you brainstorm.
- Break up screen time with periods of exercise or household chores.
- When you do leave the house, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walking between projects.
- Time yourself at the computer and limit seated writing time.
- Take regular breaks whether you want to or not.
It’s possible to write yourself to death. We have to become aware of this eventuality if we want to live a full life even as we work hard at our craft. This is especially true if you have a sedentary day job like teacher or office worker as so many of us do.
Changing the habit of a lifetime is difficult, especially when we don’t want to stop what we’re doing. The pay off of better health will allow us to do more of the writing we love, not less. Think about how much time you can lose just to being ill or even hospitalized for avoidable disorders. The easiest way to avoid all that lost time is simply to get up and move.