Increase Your Creativity (and Get Fit!)
September 12, 2017
Note From Rochelle
Are you planning to write a novel during National Novel Writing Month? Do you hope to complete your book project by the end of the year? Believe it or not, it’s time to start planning! If you need help planning or finishing a book project, connect with me for a complimentary consultation. I’d love to support you in achieving your goal!
Lately, I’ve been working on weekends to finish writing and editing projects. When I log so many extra hours in my desk chair, I need to find ways to get up and move. I share my favorite ideas in today’s tip!
Increase Your Creativity
(and Get Fit)!
by Rochelle Melander
All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. —Friedrich Nietzsche
Most people get exercise trackers, like my Fitbit, to measure their activity level. I certainly did. I didn’t realize that my Fitbit would also record every one of my sedentary moments. Though I often take the recommended 10,000 steps per day, the tracker reminds me that I sit too much. It’s one of the hazards of my job.
In order to write your book, you’ll need to log a significant number of butt-in-chair hours. But sitting too long can be hard on our health.
The solution? Gretchen Reynolds suggested that the little things we do (good and bad) add up. According to Reynolds, exercising moderately for a brief period each week brings the most health benefits. (Yeah! That means you don’t have to run a marathon this year.) In addition, we need to move more throughout the day.
My tracker measures my hourly movement, encouraging me to take at least 250 steps each hour. In order to combat the negative effects of sitting, we need to get up and move at least once every hour. And here’s the bonus benefit for you: moving your body increases your creativity.
To help you move more, I’ve collected five small ways you can add activity to your day so that you can write more, stay fit, and live longer.
When my kids were little, we often had dance parties in the living room. I remember how fun it was to crank up the music and let loose like a teenager. Next time you need a break, turn on the music and dance.
Our ability to balance makes it possible for us to do fun activities and prevents injury. Standing on one foot for just 30 seconds will improve your balance. Take a short break to do Tree Pose (pictured at left) or to stand on each foot for 30-60 seconds. Then do it with your eyes closed. Pro Tip: do this exercise next to a wall or table, so that you don’t fall over!
Ernest Hemingway wrote standing up, his typewriter perched on a bookshelf. Find a place in your house that you can work standing up—the kitchen counter, a bookshelf, or a music stand—and spend part of your writing day there.
I often do laundry while I work, running downstairs between clients to shift the loads from washer to dryer to baskets. These tiny breaks clear my head and help me stay fit. Keep a list of small chores next to your computer and use your breaks to tackle them.
Take a stroll
Walking boosts brain power, restores our ability to pay attention, and improves creativity. At least once a day, take a short walk around the block or through the park. After watching the squirrels scurry up a tree, you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back to work.
Bonus tip: Stretch!
Hunching over a book or laptop does all sorts of nasty things to backs, shoulders, and necks. A few times a day, get up and stretch. Do a few shoulder and neck rolls or massage your back with a foam roller.