Keep Moving–Keep it Short

Lately I’ve been getting the same message—KEEP MOVING. Yesterday I read an article in the RWA (Romance Writers’ of America) magazine that suggested we writers need to take breaks (about every half hour) to keep from getting back pain (or keep it from getting worse).

Then today, on the NBC morning show they had a segment on the value of exercise. What they stressed was a person didn’t need to devote a half hour to exercise, that short bursts of energy were as beneficial (and sometimes better). They gave the usual suggestions: stop looking for that parking spot near the door, park farther away and walk (or run) to the building; take the stairs. Run up the stairs.

Ha! If I ran up the stairs, I wouldn’t be preventing a heart attack, I’d be causing one.

Whether I run or not, I agree with both concepts. I love going to yoga class, but I’m not one to spend an hour in the gym working out or a half hour at home doing exercises. I prefer expending energy on things like gardening, riding my bike, or walking the dog. But there are things I can do for short periods of time that expend energy. Instead of leisurely walking to the mail box, I could do a fast walk. A series of five sun salutations wouldn’t take long and should get my heart beating faster. Pumping harder/faster on my bike will get me places quicker and will burn more calories.

I’m willing to do these things for a short time, and evidently that’s all it takes.

And why not get up and walk away from the computer every half hour or so? Maybe I’d like to keep working while the ideas are flowing, but is it worth it if later in the day I’m in so much pain I can’t stand to sit there any longer? In the long run, am I slowing my overall output?

So my advice is: take breaks and during those breaks do something that will get your heart pumping, if only for a minute or two.

By the way, multi-published, award winning author, Nancy Gideon has a similar topic on her blog today. Give it a read. http://midmichiganrwa.org/when-writing-becomes-a-literal-pain-in-the-neck/

And finally…recently we lost a wonderful writer/editor/publisher. I don’t know what caused Linda Kichline’s stroke and death. Did she spend too many hours poring over manuscripts? Suffer too much stress in this very competitive industry? Maybe. What I do know is she died too young.

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6 Responses to Keep Moving–Keep it Short

  1. Phyllis Humphrey says:

    Good advice. I’ve been feeling guilty that I exercise for only 5-10 minutes, but turns out that’s good too. Thanks.

  2. Kristen says:

    I love that: “If I ran up the stairs, I wouldn’t be preventing a heart attack, I’d be causing one.” And I’m sorry to hear about Linda’s passing – I read good things about her online. Great post.

  3. Diane Burton says:

    Good advice, Maris. I know I should take breaks but, as you say, when the words are flowing you hate to stop. The most important take-away from your blog and Nancy’s post on the MMRWA blog is keep moving.

  4. Melissa Keir says:

    I wish I had more time for my health, but teaching full time takes up so much of my day. I’m not exercising but I’m not sitting around either. I just wish I could walk more and spend more time relaxing.

    • Maris SouleMaris Soule says:

      Having once been a teacher myself, I totally understand, Melissa. One point that was stressed by those talking about the shorter exercise times is it doesn’t have to be long in duration. If, during the day, you get your heart rate up, then you’ll gain the benefits. They also pointed out how a few decades ago our mothers or grandmothers weren’t fat because they were constantly moving, working. They didn’t go to a gym. They didn’t need to.