You know exercise for writers is essential. You hear about the benefits of exercise on TV, you read about it online and just about everywhere else. Your friends and family remind you that writing is a sedentary career.
The benefits of exercise are more significant when you are under stress or just working hard. But you know that too.
There are some great books out on how writers can stay healthy. Joanna Penn and co-writer Euan Lawson came out in December 2017 with “The Healthy Writer: Reduce your pain, improve your health, and build a writing career for the long-term.” In the intro, they write “Develop a regular physical practice. Exercise helps to manage stress and anxiety. People who exercise regularly and are physical (sic) active have better health-related quality of life.” They go on to say that exercise helps manage anxiety and the emotional toll of ups and downs that come with being a writer. This article is not a book review, but I do recommend Joanna’s book.
What I want to share is my method of staying healthy when I am deep in the throes of writing either on deadline (I always have a due date. If someone doesn’t give me a deadline, I give myself one. Nothing gets done if you don’t have a deadline you respect and are dedicated to meeting.) Look over these exercise apps for writers that help you exercise at home even when all you have is a fifteen minute get off the chair and move break!
I live in New England and from December through May and when the snow piles up my rural street with no sidewalks is not a safe place to run or walk. But, like most writers, I’m creative. I found there were some great exercise apps for writers that get me fit even if a blizzard keeps me from driving to the fitness center.
1. Exercise apps for writers that get them out of their chairs
Sitting for hours produces numerous health issues including heart problems, recent studies have started to suggest this practice might increase the chances of dementia, and can even work against all the beneficial effects of your exercise routine. Web MD has an article that says “Even if you work out seven hours a week you can’t reverse the effects of sitting seven hours at a time. ” That is why the writing technique Promodoro recommends you write for forty-five minutes and take a fifteen-minute break every hour. Another Web MD post says even a two-minute break every hour will benefit you.
As anyone who has read Meeting The Writer’s Deadline knows, I am a big fan of Pomodoro timers. When my break alarm sounds I get up and move around or exercise. When I worked for a university full-time, I would work out either before going to work or when I came home. Since I have been building my writing business, I exercise during my breaks and then take a half-hour walk or bike ride after dinner.
If you do not use Pomodoro, here is a link with other exercise apps for writers who need breaks that just remind you to get up and walk around on those intense writing days.
2. Exercise apps for writers who work out
8Fit – exercise apps for writers available for IOS and Android phones
My favorite quick exercise app is 8fit. These quick, easy to do at home routines are set up to last anywhere from 8 minutes to about 14 minutes. You control the length of time, and you control the difficulty level of your program. Over time the program suggests increasing the difficulty level of your program. You can always make your session more intense or easier. There is also a recommended meal program included. I don’t actually make many of the recipes but I look at the suggestions, and based on what I have in the cupboard I make a close substitute.
There are dozens of workout exercise apps for writers. If you want to explore more, check out this list of workout apps.
3. Exercise apps for writers your brain
Fellow writers got me interested in meditation and I discovered they were right. Meditation has a lot of benefits including increased ability to concentrate, lowers stress and an improved ability to link ideas. I’m sure there are more. If you can’t get out for a meditation class Headspace provides guided meditations of lengths you determine. The meditation for helping you go to sleep worked great for me!
4. Exercise apps for writers you can use at home or outside
Walking is an excellent exercise for your joints, good for your heart, and helps you sleep better. If you have a Fitbit or are using an app on a smartwatch, here is a tip: run in place when you can’t get out. Had a week of non-stop rain, pouring down faster than the water coming out of your shower? Walk or run while watching TV. You can catch up on your favorite show and get the benefits of a walk. (Or you can stand in front of a window and enjoy the rain!)
Pacer – exercise apps available for IOS and Android phones
I use Pacer on my iWatch. When I go to the fitness center, I like to use the elliptical machine or treadmill. I found when I’m homebound I can run in place or walk around a circuit in my house and still rack up the steps. I do 5000 steps in the morning, and if during the day I don’t hit 10,000 steps, I can catch up in the evening while watching the news. Pacer is one of my favorite exercise apps for writers.
5. Healthy eating apps go along with exercise apps for writers
I like to mix and match my apps. Here is my combo on my iPhone:
MyPlate – exercise apps available for IOS and Android phones
MyPlate by Livestrong, provides suggested meals, adds your calories consumed to your calorie burned to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle. I like that you can link this app through Health on the iPhone to the other exercise apps for writers you have to get a clear picture of your overall lifestyle.
A note of caution when using exercise apps for writers at home
Working out at home using exercise apps for writers is valuable when you can’t get out but remember, it is essential to get away from your writing desk. Doing so broadens your in-person social network, gets you those fifteen minutes of sunshine you need each day and is wonderful for connecting with the world. That connection enhances your creative writing!