Stretch and move!Recently I was reading a fitness magazine and one of the articles mentioned that even if you exercise, sitting for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your health, including wiping out the benefits of that run or spin class you took that morning (and affecting how well your metabolism works) – egads!

For someone who worked hard to lose 20 pounds last spring, this was not good news. I exercise regularly and do my writing and most of my work on a computer so that means LOTS of sitting. I was bummed that all of my hard work might be slowed down because of how much sitting I do the rest of the day.

After reading the article, I took the author’s advice and have a timer set so that every hour I get up and move around for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes I stretch, sometimes I jog in place, take a walk or go deal with other things in my house (I’m lucky enough to work from home) – clean something, do some laundry, take things that belong upstairs down and downstairs up so I get some exercise on the stairs.

I know some people who stand at a counter to work and others who sit on a therapy or fitness ball, which forces you to use muscles to stay balanced.

Bonus Benefits

Time to Write. I haven’t been doing this very long, but one thing I noticed is that setting a timer created an automatic “writing time” for me. This was my time! My hour! Or maybe more if I had scheduled more time that day.

Mulling Moments. The break also gives me time to process my project. If I was in the middle of a scene, I keep thinking about it as I walk around or stretch, sometimes trying out different outcomes. Though I do have to confess that if I’m really involved in what I’m writing, I will ignore the timer until I’m finished with the scene or chapter and then I get up and move.

Fresh Approaches. It also made me feel like I was approaching the work fresh – but not so fresh that I’d forgotten what I was doing, which can happen when days go by before I’m writing again.

So, get a writing workout routine! It will be better for your health and could improve your stories. Let me know what you do to break up stretches of writing or work time that you spend in a chair.