When most people think of writers, they think of people holed up in their rooms 24/7 and frantically typing/writing in their notebooks. This, friends, is not true, as you will know if you yourself are also a writer. Writers
occasionally eat, consume (a lot of coffee and) water, go to the bathroom, do other chores during the day, learn, and exercise. Although the last one probably isn’t on most writers’ minds.
Firstly, I’m not talking about writing exercises. These are things which you can do to improve your writing (eg “freewrite for 10 minutes” or “make a character sketch” (which, even more confusingly, isn’t even about drawing your characters)). I am talking about actual exercise, the kind where you might swim, cycle or simply walk.
Now, don’t close down this tab or press the home button. I’m serious! (For once.) Exercise can actually really help you to improve your writing.
Not only does exercise improve your physical well being (which may make sitting down and writing for long periods easier) but it also gives you some huge mental benefits with the release of certain chemicals like serotonin (the body’s ‘feel good’ drug) and endorphins, which also make you feel good.
Not only this, but exercise has been proven to improve your memory and thinking skills. Aka skills well coveted by writers. Exercise also reduces stress and anxiety, and improves mood and sleep patterns. If you’re sat in front a computer until bedtime frantically typing, it could help you to fall asleep easier which will be really beneficial the next day.
Exercising doesn’t have to mean going out for a 50 minute run every day (although if that is your thing, totally do it). In the study linked below, the participants walked briskly for one hour, twice a week. Two hours a week, walking. That’s all it took! That’s something you could really easily fit into your schedule. Even if you did 30 minutes four times a week, that works too!
If walking isn’t your thing, you could try swimming, yoga (which you can do in your own bedroom) or dancing. You don’t even have to leave your house. Doing chores like mopping the floor, vacuuming quickly or mowing the lawn can count. The aim is to raise your heart rate and break out in a light sweat. If you wear glasses, it’s the type that’ll fog up the edges when you stop. You could even just cycle to the shops instead of driving. Get a cool bike with a basket on or something.
Why have I written this article? Because I think exercise is so important! Since getting a swimming pass, I have noticed a definite increase in my happiness, and, yes, productivity. Besides, exercise can be worthwhile procrastination.