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Allena Tapia

I'm Sitting RIGHT NOW! Why Exercise Is About More than Vanity (For Writers!)

By January 9, 2013

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I hardly move, other than purposeful exercise. My writing career, combined with the work-at-home aspect of the job just makes it so. After all, it's only 10 steps from here in my home office over to my kitchen for lunch. In fact, on weekdays when my children don't have school, I hardly leave the house.

But, I'm not lazy. I love running, working out, skiing, kayaking, camping, and skating. Those things are fun. In addition, I admit to a bit of vanity. Much of my working out focuses on staying trim and fighting the years.

But, it's more than that.

I ran into this book on Google Play: Brain Rules by John Medina. The scientist is a developmental molecular biologist who says that exercise is absolutely required for well-functioning brains.  Specifically, aerobic exercise aids in bringing blood to the brain and for energy and to help rid the brain of toxins. It also helps neurons to fire. Now, I think I've heard this all before (have you?).

As a writer, I (you) need that fast thought, that organizational ability, that talent in seeing big-picture messages in small phrases. You (I) need a strong memory and ability to focus. At the same time, our hours at the keyboard mean that very little natural movement happens in our workday. This combination makes us distinctly subject to the potential atrophy that could come from non-movement. BUT it also means we stand to benefit even more than the average Joe from purposeful movement!

So, if you're starting to face that mid-month struggle with your "I'm going to exercise" resolution, do consider adding this benefit to your list of motivations. Not only will your vanity thank you, but your clients will, too.


Your Turn: Do you have a strong case for exercising? Leave your motivations in the comments to help others! Don't forget to connect with me at any of these social platforms:

January 15, 2013 at 6:50 pm
(1) Andrea Buginsky says:

I defnitely need to add exercise to my daily/weekly routine, for my own body’s benefits, as well now as all you mentioned here. Very interesting! My plan is to use my Nintendo Wii to get moving. I have the Wii Fit program, which I can use several features from, as well as the Wii Sports program. I just need to actually, um, do it. Thanks for sharing!

- Andrea

January 17, 2013 at 11:29 am
(2) freelancewrite says:

Isn’t actually doing it the worse part!!??

January 16, 2013 at 4:30 pm
(3) Gayle Nowak says:

Great suggestion to tie the mental benefits to physical fitness. Like you Allena, I live an active life and enjoy many of the same activities. The weather hasn’t been great here in the Northeast so after being cooped up all weekend I was feeling sluggish, down and foggy. I started my day yesterday with a one-hour workout and cruised through a web copy project that I thought would take me much longer. I even had energy to work some extra hours after the kids went to bed last night, instead of sinking into the couch into exhaustion. The hardest part about working out is getting started. Just do it (thanks Nike) because the rewards are absolutely worth it.

January 17, 2013 at 11:28 am
(4) freelancewrite says:

Gayle, I’m in Michigan, so I’m right there with you with the cabin fever thing. There are days I don’t leave the house in winter. It’s just not right. And you are right- the rewards are WORTH the pain. For me, I’m addicted to routine. So when exercise falls away from my routine ITS BAD, because it’s hard for me to insert it back in.

January 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm
(5) Debra Ratlciffe says:

I was walking the dog regularly but my dog is nearly 16 and probably wouldn’t enjoy the long work-outs she used to have plus, until yesterday, we had a heat-wave here. Ok, end of excuses, I know I really have to get out and walk again. I might try getting one of those Wii fit programs Andrea mentioned for heat wave or wet days or just for the fun of it. Thanks for the reminder, Allena.

January 17, 2013 at 11:26 am
(6) freelancewrite says:

My pleasure! I always feel spoiled when I just let my dogs out into the fenced backyard. My husband and I talk about living in a more urban area, and walking the dogs in winter seems like one of the downsides of that!

January 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm
(7) Libby says:

Great points – thanks for the reminder! I can definitely tell the difference in my productivity when I get exercise. I bought a Wii console over the holidays and it has been an excellent tool for taking a quick exercise break while I’m working at home. I use the Just Dance 4 game and take a 5-minute break and do one dance routine – it gets my heart pumping, and puts me in a better mood – and it’s way more fun than a treadmill.

January 17, 2013 at 11:25 am
(8) freelancewrite says:

Libby- I LOVE all the Dance video games on Xbox. But, I am a treadmill addict. Seriously, with the right music I feel like I’m dancing. It’s the beat, I think :)

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