I could never exercise just for the sake of exercising.
No problem as long as my job included plenty of action.
Then I took my writing seriously and began editing. I spent hours at my computer...
And I met my local massage therapist.
As happy as I was to have the massages, what I appreciated more was the preventative advice I got from the therapist.
- I traded my briefcase and tote bags for a good backpack, which I always wear on both shoulders. This took care of the recurring tension in my neck.
- When I work on the computer, I set the timer for regular breaks. I get up and give myself a good stretch. I pay special attention to my neck, arms, and upper back. The stretch I find most helpful is the one where I raise one arm, bend it at the elbow with that hand dropping behind my head. Then I take my opposite hand and pull the bent elbow gently towards my back. Feels good just writing about it.
- I bought an "ab ball" and sit on it when I'm at the computer. It keeps me from crossing my legs and cutting off circulation,...
...strengthens my abdominal core,...
...and improves my overall posture.
With the aches and pains taken care of, I still had to contend with my reduced physical activity.
I found a walking buddy. Twice each week, we walk down a killer steep hill. Then, of course, we have to walk back up. As stamina improves, this takes less and less time.
Both of us like having someone count on us to go. If we went on our own, we would use little excuses to stay in.Last year I joined Curves, a workout designed for women. For one year I went three mornings each week. I lost weight, but I didn't address a worrisome factor -- my body fat content.
Mine was dangerously high in spite of exercise and some attention to diet -- with many admitted slips.
I substituted swimming for the Curves workouts. My cardiovascular system got a great work-out. My psyche perked up as I got into "the zone," that wonderful place where I am not conscious of any thoughts and my body takes over.
...my body fat content stayed too high.
Desperate, I braved the gym, a place I thought held all the local sweaty men grunting over weights.
It took two exploratory visits to give me the courage to sign up.
My local gym offers personal training and I took advantage of their service. This was the best decision I could have made for my body. I had only four sessions with the trainer, and within six weeks my body fat content was within healthy levels.
I still schedule training sessions from time to time to be sure I'm on track. The trainer keeps track of my progress and gives me new exercises. If I have questions any time I am exercising, any of the staff answer them happily.
Writers (and editors) can't count on their jobs to get enough exercise, so each of us needs to find a way to stay healthy. My regimen is not the only one that works. But if you are feeling tension or losing muscle tone from too much sitting, find something you can do that will challenge you physically so your mind stays sharp.
You will find some good tips on chinese-holistic-health-exercies.com. I personally love the photos and the exercise I can do in bed.