How To Avoid Writer’s Bulge
One of the down-sides of writing is the fact that you are sitting at your desk for hours on end, and often times, the only exercise you get is leaning over to grab something you’ve printed out, or tapping your right and/or left hand while waiting for inspiration to come. Of course there are the usual potty breaks, tea or coffee time moments, and meal times, but apart from that–you are tied down like a pilot in a cockpit for hours on end.
Everyone who is in this profession, or at least ruled by the passion to write knows precisely what I am talking about. It’s that sedentary lifestyle that is unavoidable. Sitting at your desk all day can make your ass as wide as Texas, so the trick is to get out of the saddle as frequently as possible.
It’s not surprising that the medical community is becoming increasingly concerned about what sitting for extended periods of time does to the body. Prolonged sitting promotes a lack of whole-body muscle movement, which the researchers claim is the true definition of sedentary behavior. Research indicates that the body starts to slow down in as little as 30 minutes and that sitting for long periods, decreases our metabolism, shuts off our fat burning enzymes (OH NO), and can even lead to clogged arteries and heart disease. In fact, some researches say that sitting on your butt all day can be as bad for your health as smoking!
So, if you didn’t have motivation to get your butt moving, now you do! There of course is light at the end of this tunnel. Just getting up every hour and stretching, or moving across the floor will take you out of the danger zone. That doesn’t mean you have to pirouette across the floor like Mikhail Baryshnikov! Au contrair…
Here are three sure-fire moves to keep your blood flowing and your butt cheeks from bulging. You can do them anytime, anywhere including right near your desk or while you’re on the phone. Okay, let’s go!
Even though you are still dragging from a night of creative insomnia, you need to start upright, feet shoulder-width distance apart, hands behind your head. Keeping your core engaged, hinge at the waist keeping your back flat. 15-20 reps (no, you cannot sit down yet!)
That’s right, we’re still standing. Perhaps you should turn away from your desk, and avoid looking at the hours upon hours of work you still have to accomplish, knowing time is of the essence. Stand, with both hips facing forward. Resist the urge to turn. Put one hand on a wall or chair for balance. Put your brain in your butt cheek as you lift right leg back – heel first. Extend as far as you can without turning your hips. Repeat with left leg. 15-20 reps (no, it’s not time for a coffee break yet).
This is where it would be helpful to have Baryshnikov’s flexibility… you shouldn’t have quit ballet classes, back in the day. So, start with your feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart and turn your toes out (oops! Try not to topple over). Keeping your weight in your heels and your knees turned out, squat down and then up. That’s right, down and up. Repeat, and turn it up a notch by lifting your butt cheeks us as you squat. 15-20 reps.
YOU REALLY HAVE TO BREATHE, OR YOU’LL TURN BLUE!
While sitting in your saddle, try to take exercise breaks every hour. I realize this can be a real challenge for your creative flow, but unless you want to risk having an ass the size of Texas, and/or slowing down your metabolism to a glacier pace, these suggestions are a helpful way to avoid writer’s bulge!
( I used to fit at my desk, but not any longer. Thank God I have a laptop!)