Write On Wednesday: Three Reasons Why Writers Should Work Out

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<pant pant>

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m fresh from my morning work out.  I’ve amped it up this week to combat a few extra pounds that managed to creep around my waist when I wasn’t looking. I try to exercise at least five days per week, and it’s become habitual enough that I feel out of sorts if I miss a day.

There have been several physical benefits to my exercise regimen. My lower backaches have all but disappeared. I’ve stopped having chronic sinus infections. Best of all, I can eat practically anything I want (in moderation – the aforementioned extra pounds were directly related to my failure to follow this rule and a bag of Ruffles potato chips) and not gain weight.

Physical exercise is good for more than the body. There are real reasons why working out is good for your writing too.

1. Physical exercise boosts creativity. I’m sure there are scientific studies that quantify this fact, but I don’t need them – my own experience is validation enough. I always make sure to have a notebook and pen at hand because so many good ideas come flooding into my head while I’m exercising that I could never remember them all without jotting them down.

2. Physical exercise improves your mood. Unless you’ve discovered a huge market for sob stories, depressed writers are not terribly popular or productive. The endorphins released during exercise plus the stimulation of  blood flow to the brain help you feel happier and less stressed.

3. Physical exercise improves your strength and endurance. Writing may be a sedentary occupation, but it still requires stamina. Strengthening the core muscles prevents back fatigue and pain that can distract you from the work in progress, and force you away from the desk earlier than necessary.

Invest some time and energy in discovering a form of exercise that works for you. I think it’s key to find something you enjoy doing and that fits into your life without too much disruption to your daily schedule.

Then make a habit of it. The dividends are well worth it.

How about you? Has physical activity helped your writing? Discuss.

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4 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday: Three Reasons Why Writers Should Work Out

  1. This is excellent advice, Becca, and my ample behind hears you. I’ve been a horror story recently (eating too much and exercising too little), and I’m determined to get back to my regular exercise routine.

  2. You know how different my context is, since I do manual labor for my daily work. But even so, I don’t get the aerobic exercise I need. Good upper body strength and flexibility, yes. Cardio, no. And I’m with Bella – I have got to (nay, must) get some weight off. I do think it will be easier once the heat breaks and I can stand the thought of walking again.

  3. Ugh. I hate it. But you’re right. (When you look at me, it’s clear how much I do hate it!). Part of my problem is that I’m not a “get up and do it early” person and by night — I’m done. I really need to get this under control and you are an inspiration.

  4. Hey Becca, I swear I wasn’t copying your thoughts! I just came here tonight & discovered that you’ve been writing about what I’ve been writing and focusing on…exercise. I love that we’re on the same ‘page’ on this one. I could not agree more on the benefits you’ve listed.
    In fact, I’m having a contest and will be giving away a fabulous book (Younger Next Year) that has amped up my fitness routine. It’s truly inspirational.

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