When you sit at a computer all day, how the heck are you supposed to stay in any kind of healthy condition? Keep sitting there a little longer, cause I’m about to tell you.
Fatrepreneurs, Listen Up
Look, I know that those of us who are making our living by writing fiction or creating any other kind of art, or marketing anything online, spend inordinate amounts of time sitting still. It comes with the territory. I have a few secret weapons that I use, and I think you’re going to like them.
It's Easier Than You Think
You do not have to become Sarah Connor doing pull ups in her cell. (Warning, dated T2 reference!)
Just find something you enjoy doing.
I enjoy jogging. I’d say running, but it would be the wrong word. I think jogging might also be the wrong word. I can go a long, long ways, very slowly. I have my headset on, my “Running” (again, wrong word) Playlist blasting in my ears. I have made up little dance moves to every song on the list. They are jog-dance-moves. Picture it, a slightly chubby, 55 year old lady in spandex, jogging uphill, her face beet red, waving one hand over head to “All the Single Ladies.” No one can hear the music but me… you know, unless I’m singing along. Which is most of the time.
This is FUN for me. I feel hyped up and full of energy when I get home. I never fail to have a great day if I get my jog-dance in.
In the winter, sometimes I’ll just put on a favorite radio station, and go about my workday indoors. When one of those songs comes on that make my body twitch like that Beetlejuice family to Harry Bellafonte’s Banana Boat Song (Day-O!) I don’t even try to fight it. I stop what I’m doing and dance around and sing at the top of my lungs, because it feels good.
Figure out what’s fun for you, what feels good to you, and do that. How often? My rule of thumb, do it more days a week than you don’t.
Secret Weapon 1: Oprah
My first secret weapon is Weight Watchers. I love the program again since Oprah bought in and everything got revamped. It’s very effective now, and easy to follow. The app on the phone is fantastic.
The very simple act of accountability makes all the difference. You don’t have to work hard to do this. You just simply log everything that goes into your mouth. It’s an extra 30 seconds or so before every meal. Boom. Done. I dropped 17 pounds without a single workout just to see if I could, because it was winter and I was in deadline hell and couch potato mode. (Don’t worry, I’m over it now.)
I am not an affiliate. I just simply love WW. It’s affordable, you eat regular food, and it works. Bam. Done. You’re welcome.
Secret Weapon 2: A Moving Desk
Two words, babe. Desk Treadmill. I have one and it’s such a life-changer that I would never be without one again. Yes, it was a big investment, but there ways around that, too. You might have a treadmill already, and you could take off the upright parts to make it slide-under-the-desk-able. Or haunt Craig’s List and Ebay to find one used. Or put it on your wish list for Christmas or birthdays and have the whole family chip in gift cards toward it, holiday after holiday, until you have enough saved up to get it.
You don’t have to buy a special desk, either. You can get cheap risers to put under the legs of the one you already have, and lift it to just the right height.
I know the next argument; I’m not coordinated enough to walk and tap my keyboard at the same time. Neither is anyone. Ever. Until they just get on the damn thing and do it. At first you walk so slowly, you’re barely moving. But your body learns fast, your coordination improves, and pretty soon you can go at a decent clip.
Furthermore, you don’t need to go very fast. At a plodding 1.5 mph, I’ve logged miles while writing my daily page quota, updating my website or writing a blog post.
At first I thought I could do everything except compose fiction on my treadmill, but it turns out I can do that too. I just had to try it.
Just freaking try it. It’ll add years to your life.
Secret Weapon 3: This Book
This book is a godsend. It has easy exercises that don’t feel like exercises that you can do in a few minutes a day, that will re-align your aching back and shoulders and neck. I have the original book which just titled PAIN FREE which I also recommend, but this one is specifically for computer junkies like us.
When I say exercises that don’t feel like exercises, I mean, things like lying on your back on a mat on the floor with your feet up on a chair and your knees bent at 45 degree angles for 6 minutes. Not an exercise, right? When I first saw what those exercises were, I thought there was no way in hell they were going to work. Guess what? They DO.
At the time I was having extreme issues with my psoaz. It would spasm or something, and leave me in so much pain I could not move, or walk, or sit. I was only comfortable lying flat. A gifted massage therapist told me it was my psoaz muscle, which shortens over time if you spend your time sitting. Mine must be very short as I’ve made my living writing for 23 years now. These exercises will fix it.
They’re also helpful if you decide to go from couch potato to dance-jogger like me. They can prevent injuries and help heal them if they happen.
Secret Weapon 4: Smart Watch
I have an iWatch. First generation. But there are all kinds of smart watches now, at all kinds of price points, and again, don’t overlook used ones. The one pictured here is Amazon’s #1 bestselling fitness watch by Fitbit. One of the features I love best about them is the fitness apps you can get on them. Mine buzzes to tell me when I’ve been sitting for too long and it’s time to get up and walk around. It counts calories burned during my dance jogs. It can give me an instant look at my heart rate, which sometimes gives me issues, so that’s handy as heck.
Just getting up and moving around for a couple of minutes, once every hour or so, is amazingly beneficial for desk workers. (But seriously, don’t sit at a desk anymore. Just don’t. Put it on risers. Even without the treadmill underneath, at least you’re standing, and that’s a lot.)
So get one of those.
Secret Weapon 5: The Farm Stand
My honey-buns and I have been making a challenge out of seeing how long we can stay away from the grocery store. We get almost everything at Anderson’s Farm Stand and try to live on it. They sell local meat and dairy products as well as produce, and the produce is always as local as possible. Granted, in the winter that’s not very local, but they do the best they can.
This is so good for us. Eat your food from as close to the ground as possible. The fewer steps between the earth and your plate, the better. That means cutting out the giant corporate farms, the processing plants, the distribution centers and the grocery stores whenever possible. Get it directly from the farmer. Even better, grow it yourself.
We grow our own during the summer, and we’re going to have a greenhouse so we can grow over the winter months too. It’s on our wish list. But in the meantime, we stock up weekly at the farm stand.
Secret Weapon 6: Water
Get lots of good, clean, pure, non-chlorinated, non-fluoridated water. You should be drinking a gallon a day. That’s a lot.
Eliminate soda, including (and especially) diet soda. Cut the coffee back to 2 or 3 cups a day, and watch what you’re putting in it, which is often way worse for you than the caffeine.
We just recently invested in the best water purification system available, from Neptune. It was way less than we expected. We had very hard water, and then a big contamination issue, and then a new well which had a lot of sulphur. this new system makes the water so pure all of that is gone. Further we are using about 1/3 as much soap–dishsoap, dishwasher soap, laundry soap, shampoo, and cleaning products. They just suds up more and last much longer with pure water.
Neptune serves New York state, so if you live here and would like their number, email me or leave it in comments and I’ll hook you up. Financing is available.
If you live in other states, check around for a system. These babies can remove chlorine and things too. The technology is really cutting age right now. Great time to buy.
Just making these small changes can add healthy, mobile years to the life of every desk jockey. So try them out, and let me know your own methods for staying healthy while riding the wild blue ethers.
And yes, I know I promised you a post on ritualizing wish-making. That’s coming up next. This one just got hold of me.