Posted in Health, Writing

Why Writers Need to Exercise

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m kind of stuck on my WIP. I’ve got to rework a beginning and I’ve got two that I’ve somehow got to blend together.  I’m having a little trouble doing that. Sigh. So instead, I’m writing a blog post.  I know it’s avoidance at its finest. Don’t judge me.

Today, I’m writing about the benefits of exercise for writers. Writing is such a sedentary activity and it’s great for our brain, but not so good for us physically.

We all know exercise is good for our body, but did you know it’s also good for your brain?

Photo credit: A Health Blog via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

 It’s true. In a study done at the University of Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning. To read more on this click the link. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

Exercise also helps the brain with memory and thinking. It does this by reducing inflammation, insulin resistance, and by stimulating growth factors. Chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells.

This is all well and good, but all I really need to know is I feel better when I exercise compared to when I don’t.

My sciatica was bothering me for the last couple of months, so I stopped my exercise routine to let it heal. Let me tell you, I was grumpy and just didn’t feel like myself.

I just started running again and two days into my new routine and I’m feeling great. My mood has improved dramatically, and I’m getting all kinds of ideas for my stories. That’s a good thing! 🙂

The reason we feel better when we exercise is because our body releases chemicals called Endorphins into our system. These Endorphins interact with receptors in our brain that reduce our perception of pain. They also trigger a positive feeling in the body, much like morphine.

Physical activity also stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. These chemicals also play a role in combating depression. To find out more clink this link healthline.com

This is good for anyone who has to deal with depression, and I know a few authors who have to deal with that.

 

Photo via VisualHunt

Taking care of our bodies is really quite simple. I know what you’re thinking. Simple, yes, but hard to do, and time consuming. I know. I hear you. But once you make it a habit, then it’s not so bad. You can build your daily schedule around your exercise routine.

One thing that goes hand in hand with exercise, is eating right. I know you’ve heard this before, but I’m an author. I know how easy it is to get lost in your Work in Process and if you’re like me, you don’t always eat right. I no longer keep a bowl of chocolate by my computer when I’m working. I make myself take breaks and fix healthy meals. Sometimes, it’s hard to do, but it’s better in the long run.

Photo credit: vitamina.verde via Visualhunt.com / CC BY

 

So, writers, authors, and bloggers take time out to exercise and eat right. Get out of that chair! It’s good for your body and your brain. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How about you? Do you have any exercise routines you’d like to share?

 

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Posted in Personal

Things that Bring Me Joy

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today with another top ten list. I’m talking about things that bring me joy. 🙂 I don’t know why I decided to write about this today, maybe I’m feeling particularly joyful. I don’t know, but here they are.

My family

That’s right my family is one of the greatest sources of joy for me. I know every mom says this and it’s a cliché, but it’s also true. I love listening to my kids when they don’t know it and their conversations are so sweet and innocent. It reminds me of what’s important in life.   My hubby is my rock and he makes me laugh. That’s very important, laughter, after all it is the best medicine. 😉

My Writing

I love writing and researching a new story. I absolutely love it when a new idea comes into my head. There’s a calming feeling that comes over me when I finally sit down at my computer and begin typing. I forget about all the little irritates of the day when I’m immersed in a story. It’s a great feeling. The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750

 

 

 

Working With Kids

 

There’s something about working with kids that does me good. Whether it’s working with young teens during my writing workshops or volunteering at my kids’ school, I find it uplifting. I enjoy their enthusiasm and their desire to learn. They want to know everything! IMG_0424

Hiking

Hiking in the forest is one of my greatest joys. I love getting outside and walking through the woods. There’s so much beauty in nature and sometimes I just need to absorb that. I also love walking on the beach. Being near the water relaxes me andI enjoy the majesty of the waves as they break against the beach. I like to take these walks alone because that’s when I do my deepest thinking. IMG_0315

 

My Friends

I enjoy time alone, but I also enjoy spending time with my friends. Because of our busy schedules we don’t get together as often as we’d like, but it’s always good to reconnect with friends you’ve shared adventures with and travel down memory lane.

Reading

Reading feeds my deep desire to learn. I love learning new things, whether it’s research for a story or research for an issue in my personal life. I love to learn. I choose to be proactive and find solutions to problems, whether it’s in my personal life or a problem with a Work in Process. I also love reading for enjoyment as well. There’s nothing like getting lost in a great story.  Sitting in a lounge chair by the beach, reading is a one of my greatest pleasures.

Traveling

Since I have a deep desire to learn, I love to travel and learn about my destination. I took a trip to Key West, Florida a few years ago and I enjoyed walking through Ernest Hemingway’s home there. I wondered what it was like to live and work there. I also took a trip to Cancun a while back and I went to Chichen Itza. That was an incredible experience. As I climbed the steep staircase, I was in awe of the complexity of the structures there. The detail in their stone carvings astonished me. I could tell they were an advanced civilization and I’ve always wondered what happened to the Mayans. Haven’t you?

Exercising

I can hear you all groaning out there! But it’s true, I love the feeling I have when I’m finished exercising. Notice I say finished. 🙂 When I start to exercise, I’m not feeling particularly joyful, but by the end I’m always glad I started.  I usually run or do Pilates, but since I’ve pulled a muscle in my back, I’ve been walking. Did you know walking one mile burns as many calories as running a mile? 😉 This is good to know, don’t you think?

Bubble Baths

I absolutely love bubble baths. It’s a great way to relax after a run or after a stressful day.  Since I’ve had kids, I can count on one hand how many bubble baths I’ve been able to take, but I do have memories of them! 🙂 I used to light candles and fill the tub with hot fragrant bubbly water. There’s no better way to relax!

Massages

There’s nothing better than a full body massage. I used to get these before I had kids and I loved them. They’re great after a stressful day at work. They’re expensive, hence the reason I got them before kids, but they’re an indulgence that’s good for you! 🙂 So there you have ten things that give me joy. What things give you joy? Leave a comment I’d love to hear from you!

The Benefits of Exercise

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today I’m going to discuss a subject that’s near and dear to my heart and that is improving my health. I’ve made a plan that I’m going to eat better and exercise more this year.

I started my plan this week. Today, I ran three miles (on the treadmill…yuck) and when I was done I felt great. I had a hard time tearing myself away from my manuscript though. For me, starting the run is the hardest part. 🙂

My goal is to get back into shape. I’ve been a runner for years, but because of the holidays and sick kids I’ve been lax and haven’t been running as often as I should. So I made a New Year’s resolution to get back into the habit of running and working out regularly. I also do strength training exercises. Those aren’t too bad because they don’t take a big chunk out of my day.

What I find after my run is that I’m much more relaxed and creative. I have a more positive attitude. I also find that if I have a problem with one of my manuscripts and I step away from the computer, and either go for a run or a hike in the woods I usually work the problem out. Physical activity stimulates my brain in a positive way.

I’ve found there is scientific proof that this is true. My body releases endorphins when I exercise which improves my mood and lowers my stress level. For more information on this click here http://www.informationgateway.org/positive-effects-exercise-mood/

I run but I also love to walk. That’s right, walking has the same effect on your body that running does. Did you know that you burn the same number of calories whether you walk a mile or run a mile? The pace does not matter.

I feel that this is an important piece of information. Especially for people who can’t run because of an injury or they just don’t like to run period.

In my opinion, the only difference between running and walking is that walking doesn’t work out the heart like running does. So, if you have a family history of heart disease, like mine does, then it’s in your best interest to do some form of exercise that works out your cardiovascular system. If you don’t like running try riding a bike or a spinning class. Both work out the cardiovascular system without all the stress on your joints.

There are also other benefits from exercising. It reduces stress and also combats depression. So if you’re feeling low go for a run, ride a bike, or just go for a walk. Get moving and get your blood circulating and get the endorphins running through your brain. You’ll feel better. I know I do. 🙂

I know it’s hard to find time to exercise. This is my biggest challenge. There’s so much that I want to accomplish during the day that taking a half hour to exercise and then clean up seems like a huge sacrifice. But I’m actually more productive when I do take the time to do it and we all know the health benefits of it.

I also know that as I continue to run I’m going to have to increase my distance which will take more time from the other things that I want to accomplish. Maybe by increasing my distance it will also increase that positive energy that I always have after a good run. I’ll have to find something to do with all of that positive energy.

Hopefully, I’ll write some more bestsellers! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope I’ve inspired you to get moving and improve your health. 🙂