The solution: Kick the exercise-is-yucky attitude to the curb.
I started with purchasing a FitBit. Actually, my hubby and I both got some and
I schedule 1 or 2 longer walks (30-45 minutes) during the day. If it's not raining, hailing or tornado sirens blaring, then I try to walk my son to school and take a longer route home. I don't plan an actual mileage count. I just walk until I feel like I'm done. Not exhausted, mind you. Just happily done. It started out at being about a half mile. Now I tend to do more like 1 1/2 to 2 miles. I take different routes each day to make it interesting. I also have a walking playlist on my cell phone with songs that have beats to match my walking stride. A few examples are One Directions "What Makes You Beautiful" and Colbie Caillat's "Brighter Than the Sun." If my day goes well (or if I don't lose track of time while writing), my second walk of the day is to pick up my son from school with a slight detour on the way. Not as long as the first walk of the day though. When Mother Nature intervenes, then I do one afternoon walk at the local mall after I drop my daughter off at afternoon Kindergarten. My step counts now fluctuate between 5K to 12K per day. It's a big fluctuation, I know. My goal is to healthier, but I also refuse to stress out about meeting a specific number each day.
10 Minute Breaks
Scattering ten minute breaks throughout the work day is one of the best things I added to my day. I generally either crank up the music and dance in my kitchen, do a series of stretches (check out my post on Monday for more details), fold a load of laundry while standing, do some squats (so good for your butt and legs), or go for a short walk around the block. My goal is to have three breaks in the morning and another two or three in the afternoon. Ten minutes goes a long way to giving your body a much needed break from sitting. The best part is doing something different helps rejuvenate my brain. I usually come up with great ideas for my plot or have a renewed energy to meet my next editing goal.
Easily Accessible Drinks
Drinking enough water is so, so hard for me, and diving into my own stories or someone else's makes it even harder to remember my body's needs. I've tried a lot of different strategies and finally realized I just need to schedule drinking breaks. Sad, but true. I love travel mugs for their *mostly* spill proof qualities - and shopping for cute ones helped me commit to this essential part of living healthy. I keep one at my desk all the time filled with either water, diet citrus green tea or cranberry juice. Sorry, friends, no soda, coffee or margaritas at this desk. How do I schedule drinking breaks? It's quite simple, really. I have a wind-up kitchen timer on my desk. I set it for 30 minutes. When it dings, I drink a few sips, reset the timer and move on. The interruption is less than a minute, so it doesn't interfere with my creative flow.
Healthier Snacks and Rewards
Munchy, munch, munch. There's a reason why I don't keep potato chips or chocolate in my house. I'm a mega snacker. Can't resist the temptation. Instead, I have snack baggies filled with 1/4 cup servings of mixed nuts, trail mix or Honey-Nut Cheerios. Other healthy snacks I indulge in include Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and all natural popcorn. I also keep a Rewards Jar on my desk. When I reach my daily goals, I get to choose a sweet treat--usually a Sugar Free Werther's Original candy (caramel apple or cinnamon are my favorite flavors).
It's so easy to get caught up in our character's stories or be so focused on a looming deadline, that we forget to take care of ourselves. The key to success is making your health a priority. Figure out what your needs are (moving around, eating, drinking, etc), then look at your daily routine and find ways to work those needs in. Don't just say "oh this would be nice" though or you'll never accomplish it. Which, in my case, would add more guilt to my shoulders. No guilt! Make changes that will work for your lifestyle and in a way you will actually follow through.
What tips can you share to conquer the dreaded writer's butt?