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Want to get more exercise this year? Join the crowd. Getting in shape has long been a top New Year’s resolution. But writing, like other sedentary jobs, isn’t exactly conducive to improving fitness. The good news is you can use one of your innate talents to get yourself moving: creativity. Try these tips, and see how easy it is for you to slip exercise into your daily writing schedule.

Exercise at Your Desk

Just because you’re working at your desk doesn’t mean you can’t be exercising too. Between tasks, try doing arm pumps, leg lifts, body stretches, and shoulder rolls. For a full list of ideas, check out WebMD's desk workout guide.

Get Fit Before You Sit

Why not start the day with exercise, before you even begin writing? You’ll get your daily fitness out of the way, put your body and brain in working order, and feel energized and ready to write your best.

Rely on a Friend

For many people, getting inspired to exercise requires a companion. If that describes you, enlist a spouse, friend, or even your dog to be an exercise partner. Find someone who’s dependable and motivating so you won’t let each other down.

Restructure Your Lunch Break

Used to sitting at your desk while you eat? Try something new this year. Head to the lunch room for a change of scenery, then walk the stairs afterward. Or, take your lunch outside and finish with a stroll around the block.

Write It on the Schedule

If you keep a daily task list, include an exercise session in the schedule and make it as important as everything else on the list. Out of sight, out of mind, but “exercise” written in large print is a great way to remind you to do just that.

Take Five between Projects

It only takes five minutes to get a healthy spurt of exercise. Situps, pushups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, you name it—you can work in plenty of exercise breaks between projects without infringing on your writing time.

Drink Up

Water isn’t just a hydrator; it boosts metabolism, aids digestion, cleans the body of toxins, and helps you lose weight. Plus, water encourages activity by motivating you to get up from your chair to use the restroom.

Becoming a nonsedentary writer is easier than you think. Resolve to meet your writing and fitness goals, and make this year the one you succeed at both.


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Can’t get motivated to write? Maybe you need a change of scenery. Truth is, sitting at a desk all day can get old. Of course, it may be more practical to write where everything you need—your computer, writing resources, files, phone, etc.—is at your fingertips. But do you really need all those things to write all the time? Sometimes, a pen and paper or even just a new environment will do the trick.

I can think of several places I like to write besides at my desk. One is the public library. There, I have millions of books and periodicals at my disposal for research and note taking, plus a friendly staff, plenty of quiet spaces to write, and even a little café. On a rainy or snowy day, it’s a perfect alternative to my desk. I also like venturing to the local historical society, where I can take advantage of everything it has to offer writers.

Coffee shops and restaurants can be good writing venues, too, as long as the noisiness and busyness aren’t distracting. For me, going to a different room in the house—like the sunlit porch or the dining room, where I can spread out my work on the long table—is sometimes all I need for a change of atmosphere. But when the weather’s nice, there’s nothing better than the great outdoors.

Peaceful Lake Atmosphere - Ideal for Writing

Where I live in Minnesota, the public parks can be perfect motivators for writing. Many of the parks here are spacious and peaceful, with lots of inviting spots to set up shop—at picnic tables, under shade trees, and in pavilions. The area lakes offer another relaxing and inviting writing place, whether sitting on the dock in a comfy lounge chair or under an umbrella at the beach.

My favorite place to write outdoors, though, is on my daily walk. I usually take the walking paths near my house that cut through the woods. And no, I don’t bring a pen or paper with me. In fact, the only thing I have with me is my dog. Amazingly, on those walks I’ve done some of my best and most productive writing. I’ve figured out sentences, written conclusions, brainstormed for ideas, and made important writing decisions. The best part? I return home eager and ready to write.

Writing at a desk is practical and often necessary, but for those times when you need a change of scenery, there are plenty of options. Find a place that works for you, and get re-motivated to write.

Have a favorite place to write beyond your desk? Please share it here.