Today is the Get Healthy Blog Hop, which is hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh, Steven Tremp, L. Diane Wolfe, and Michael Di Gesu. The idea is that bloggers share something that we have done to affect our health in a positive way.
When I saw this blog hop was happening, I knew I had to get involved. The main reason for this is that my health–or more specifically, my fitness–has become more of a priority for me over the past couple of months.
Recently, I decided that I spend way too much time on my butt. Working from home as a writer is really not conducive to high levels of physical activity unless I make myself do something. You know, there are some days when I don’t even need to leave the house. (I promise you that I ALWAYS get dressed, though!) I can eat all the vegetables that I like, but unless I do some exercise, I’m only doing half a job. And exercise is really the only way to combat that condition known as ‘writer’s arse’–and no one wants to succumb to that…
So, at the beginning of April I decided to start running. Before you groan and click away from my blog, please bear in mind that I was starting from scratch. Worse than scratch, even. Oddly enough, even though I always walk briskly when I’m going somewhere, stepping that up a notch to a jog was a killer for me. For the first few runs, I walked way more than I ran, and I wondered if it was ever going to get easier.
I looked up some tips online for beginner runners–simple techniques for stretching, breathing, even how to hold my arms. I took my mum’s dog with me, and still do–as she’s a German Shepherd cross, I get tired WAY before she does–which helps me keep going. She has places to go and things to sniff, and no wheezing human is going to stop her from doing that!
Now I have been running twice a week for two months, and I’ve already made good progress. I can’t do the entire distance without stopping, but I only have to walk for two or three short periods along the way, and I don’t think it’ll be too long before I need to start running further.
Now I have more energy that I used to, which is something I never believed before I started exercising properly. How can that even be possible? I don’t know, but it’s true. I feel much better in myself, and I’m more productive when I sit down to work, often achieving more than I used to in a longer timespan. I truly believe that if I can run, pretty much anyone can–it’s free to do, after all. You just need to make the decision to do it, and keep going. I absolutely HATED it at first, and can’t actually convey in words just how unfit I was. (I know, I know–and I call myself a writer…)
Around the same time I started running, I started going to a yoga class at my local leisure centre. I absolutely LOVE it. There’s something so relaxing and enriching about practising these stretches, and I thoroughly recommend it for anyone. If you spend all day at a desk, I suspect you would benefit especially, as many of the poses are designed to stretch and strengthen the spine, and release the tension from the neck and shoulders. The stress relief is also immense, so from now on I intend to save my most stressful tasks (read: ebook formatting) for Thursdays, so I can go to my yoga class that evening to unwind!
Thanks for reading! Click here to visit the other Get Healthy Blog Hop participants.