Physical Fitness & Writing

I used to use my lunch breaks for writing, even on days I planned on working out. The early afternoon is best for creative productivity and I didn’t want to lose it. I’m trying to manage my health better, and part of that requires me to actually work out. No more “healthy metabolism” for me. No more managing weight loss strictly through nutrition (though really, that last time I did that was high school?).

I just didn’t want to lose my writing time.

In order to give my workouts a serious consideration, I signed up for a 5k with a friend. Then I TOLD everyone I signed up. Now I have to run it. And now I have to train for it or I’m to look pretty flaky.

This past week, I worked out 6 of 7 days, lost 2 pounds and can fit back into the last pair of jeans I’d had to hide in my closet because I didn’t want to be caught dead in them.

Three days included running + weights. Other days included some variation of yoga, jumping rope, running stairs with laundry baskets (go ahead TRY to tell me that isn’t a workout).

I’m sleeping better, which means I’m not fighting my alarm in the morning. My mind is clearer and I’m writing better. I completed two short story projects this week. And that was with LESS writing time.

Losing writing time isn’t the issue. Using the time better is a direct result of taking better care of myself.

So how do you fit in your fitness time? Or don’t you? I’d like to hear.

~ Happy Writing



10 responses to “Physical Fitness & Writing

  1. Heh. I’m grumpy today because I’d planned to bike and jog, and it’s been raining all day. (Should have done it yesterday, but I thought I’d be safe in waiting.)

    I work out first thing in the morning four days a week, though lately I’ve been sleeping instead of doing weights. And I still haven’t come to terms with dragging myself out of bed before 6 to go swimming.

    The one time I won’t put off a workout is right after work. It’s been a habit for long enough that I don’t even think about it. Even though, these days, most of my workouts are scheduled for before work or weekends, the evening ones are still the easiest to get motivated for.

    • I understand those grumps. There’s nothing like crappy weather to ruin a perfectly good plan. I like swimming, but that early? Yipes. I’m the opposite of your after work preference though. If I wait til then, I’d never do it.

      Good luck with the swimming. 🙂

  2. Survey says . . . if you complete the 5k, no matter how long it takes you, people will not say you’re flaky. (Take my word for this!) On the other hand, training for it will definitely mean you won’t feel like crawling into bed and staying there for half a week afterward!

    This spring, I ran 3 times a week, early morning, generally MWF, but occasionally TRS, or some other odd combo. Since I got back from vacation, I was trying to increase my stamina by doing 2 runs each day. (I think this might have contributed to the glycogen depletion, come to think of it.) The new plan is to go back to easy runs, building up, once per day, and after I get back up to being able to do 30 minutes or more, I’ll work on speed. Then I may go back to trying 2 runs a day.

    I’m also always telling myself I need to add in some core work or upper body exercises, but somehow, that hasn’t seemed to happen. (Yes, I know, I need to make it happen, or it won’t. Guess maybe I’m not ready to give up that much of my time to exercise yet.)

    I don’t think it’s made me any more productive in the short run in terms of getting things completed, but I’m hoping it really helps in the long run by giving me more years of productivity.

    • Erin, that’s exactly why I signed up. I need to prove it to myself now, that I can stick with a training plan long term. This week I jump up from 2 minute runs / 4 minute walks x4, to a 3 minute run, 3 minute walk x 4. *shiver*

      Btw upper body and care is easier to fit in than you may think. Two pairs of dumbells and either a bench you already have in the house or one of those excercise balls, and you can easily fit in a 20 minute weight routine. If I could do to the rest of me what I’m doing with my upper body workout, I’d be a knockout. ;D

      Good luck sorting out the run routine – and with your 5k. 😀

      • Oh, I have dumbbells. Had them for decades, and used to work with them regularly. And a couple of the activity things I follow on FB often suggest 10-20 minute core workouts. Honestly, it’s not the time — I spend more time than that puttering on FB. It’s a lack of will. I’ll get there, eventually.

        Good luck with your training plan. You can do it!

  3. Madison Woods

    Today is day three since I started exercising *regularly* again. Hard to call two successive days regular (haven’t done it yet today), but the soreness feels good. Problem is when…do I give up my lunch hour to do it? That’s when I try to get some editing in and chat with my fiance’ who’s in Iraq. Or do it after work? I get off at 5 and don’t get home until 7:00 as it is and I hate to be even later getting home. Get up even earlier than 5:30? That’s where I’d like to put my workout time. I’d like to get up at 4:30, work out for 30 minutes, shower, write for 30 and then make breakfast and get myself and the boy out of the house for work and school by 6:30. Sunday I worked out at home in the afternoon. Monday at work after 5, today will again be after 5, but tomorrow begins the 4:30 routine. We’ll see how that goes…

    Madison (first time contestant, Q4 WotF contest)

    • Madison: I feel for your schedule. Mine closely resembles that insanity. But the results make the exhaustion worth it. Hang in there, you’ll get the timing right, and good luck with your WOTF entry. 😀

  4. That public accountability thing can really help. I’m glad this is working for you & have been following your writing progress on FB. Very encouraging.

    Also good to see you on the Pillar of Fire list at Write 1 Sub 1. Well done.

  5. Thanks, Steve. It’s been a rewarding journey, and I’m enjoying it.

  6. I’m glad I read this after hitting the gym — the only day I’ve been able to make it over there this week, dang it!

    On a related note, congrats on reaching your September Write1Sub1 goals. Onward and upward!

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