Thursday, November 17, 2022

Get Movin' by Marilyn Levinson

We've all read hundreds of times of the importance of exercise, especially as we grow older. Who isn't familiar with the expression "sitting is the new smoking?" I won't go into the nitty gritty details of why sitting is so bad for us, except to mention it has been implicated in many conditions, from heart disease to nerve damage. And while our society is more sedentary these days, I think those of us who are writers have to pay special attention to the matter.

I don't love to exercise and won't initiate an exercise session on my own, which is why I take aerobic and yoga classes, either in person or via Zoom, three to five times a week. And I go for a walk occasionally. Luckily, there are many forms of exercise available to us, so we can choose those we really like. There's swimming, Pilates, dancing, skating, bike riding, various sports and working out in a gym to mention a few.

But the benefits of working out and staying in shape are significantly lost if we sit in front of a  computer for hours at a time. It's essential that we get up and move every twenty minutes or so. Just get movin'.                                                                                                                                                          Go downstairs.                                                                                                                                             Get a drink of water in the kitchen. (And bypass the chocolate.)                                                             Walk around your office for a few minutes.                                                                                              Do a few stretching exercises.

Having a pet helps keep us moving. I remember how my cat Sammy used to make his special sound, telling me he wanted a few treats or some attention. But now that Sammy's gone, I need to remember to get up and move on my own.

For those of us who get so involved in the creative process and forget to come up for air, you can set your alarm to remind you to get up and stretch. Or move. Sometimes moving around helps inspire new story ideas. Some of my plot problems are solved as I walk around my community.

When I sit too long, rising to my feet can be painful. There's no question that I feel better after exercising and moving about. If only I didn't have to do it so often! But that's the way the cookie crumbles, as they used to say. Moving and exercising are as essential to our well-being as eating a healthy diet and getting enough sleep.



  1. I have an adjustable standing desk at which I alternate sitting and standing. That works well for me.

  2. That sounds like the best arrangement, Jim.

  3. I like to walk in my community, but I admit that I don't do it often enough or go far enough. I've also done yoga using an online connection to my local library. I need to do more. I love tennis, but I don't have a partner to play with. So I recently bought myself a tennis tethered ball that enables me to play by myself. We'll see how that works.

  4. Grace,
    I haven't played tennis is sooo many years.
    I got all set for my on-line yoga class today then remembered there was no class this week. No matter. I had classes this past Monday, Tuesday and Wed, and have a class tomorrow—all different forms of movement and/or exercise.

  5. Excellent advice! I shoveled snow today, and I try to get a daily walk, but some days are easier than others!

  6. Like Jim, I also have a standing desk. I find that walks also inspire my writing. I've also tinkered with the idea of getting a balance disc, but I'm not sure I'm coordinated enough!

  7. I'm too inclined to curl up in a comfortable chair and stay put, especially when it turns cold. Or hot. When it's windy or raining, too. I missed my calling to be a pampered cat. Bummer. So I also alternate between standing and sitting when I write, and I set a 20 minute timer, and instead of walking up stairs I run up them. Back off, age-related and sedentary lifestyle diseases! You're not getting me this week.

  8. Such good advice. Hope I can make myself take it. I have my annual physical today, and I'm dreading it...Maybe if I take this advice, next year I won't.

  9. kait,
    I know just what you mean!

    Balance is sooo important, but there are many balance exercises.

    I hope you get a good report today!

  10. I take an aquatics exercise class three times a week.

    I also plan to go exercise on my own in the pool other days, but I don't get there much.

    The water is a big help. I can move in ways that I could never manage on land, and the water supports my weight so it doesn't bother the arthritis so much. It's also helpful in keeping my balance (I had a stroke, and the balance issue seems to be the most persistent after effect) and if I do fall over, I just get a bit wetter than I was planning to, rather than risking hurting myself.