Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Get Moving!

First of all, if you were expecting the previously scheduled interview with publicist Jeane Wynn today, Jeane sends her sincere apologies. An unfortunate combination of personal, family, and congregational (her husband is a pastor) crises converged on Easter weekend, but Jeane promises to reschedule as soon as she possibly can.

So instead you have moi. And today I’d like to talk about . . . well, actually I would rather NOT talk about . . . the dreaded E word.

Not E-mail.

Not Edits.

Not contest Entry form.

Nope. Exercise.

Blame the guilt trip my doctor gave me during my annual physical last week. If you have no problems fitting exercise into your daily routine, read no farther. But if you’re like me, a veritable computer-potato, then maybe together we’ll discover a few ways to motivate ourselves to get out of the chair and onto the treadmill (or whatever exercise floats your boat).

There are 6 main reasons I don’t get enough exercise:
  1. I don’t like to huff, puff, and/or sweat.
  2. Exercise feels like an inefficient use of half an hour.
  3. Sitting at my computer, I get stuck in the inertia of immobility.
  4. I might have to go out later and don’t want to be too tired from exercising.
  5. It’s boring.
  6. I usually strain something and then hurt for the next six months.
Maybe you have a few favorite excuses of your own. It’s tough to admit there are logical rebuttals to each of these, but here goes.
  1. Sweat, huff, and puff less on a slow or medium-paced walk, which still offers some benefit.
  2. Multi-task. Listen to a recorded conference workshop while you exercise. Try reading while on the treadmill (this works for me only if I don’t go too fast).
  3. Set a timer for every 30-45 minutes while at your desk. Then take a five-minute break to run up and down the stairs a couple of times or do some stretches.
  4. See rebuttal #1. Go for a short walk or try yoga.
  5. Try different activities. A dance workout video. Free weights. Exercise ball. Swimming. Walking the dogs. I do best on the treadmill while listening to music that makes me want to move.
  6. Don’t try to make up for six months of inactivity in a single week. Start slowly and build up. If you feel a twinge, back off.
Here’s a website where you can estimate how many calories different activities burn per hour. My problem is I want to get exercise done and out of the way--if I do it at all. So 20 minutes tops is about all I can talk myself into.

You’d think with all the benefits exercise has to offer, it wouldn’t be so hard to get motivated. The Mayo Clinic lists seven key benefits:
  1. Improves your mood.
  2. Combats chronic diseases.
  3. Helps you manage your weight.
  4. Strengths your heart and lungs.
  5. Promotes better sleep.
  6. Can put the spark back in romance.
  7. Exercise can be fun! (In their opinion.)
And if those reasons aren’t enough, here’s one more we writers should take to heart:

Exercise boosts brain power!

Your turn. What are the most effective ways you’ve found to work exercise into your routine? Do you have a favorite workout? Any videos, equipment, etc., you recommend?


Walt Mussell said...

Doesn't chasing one's kids count as exercise? I always like to think so? However, I'm only on my second cup of coffee, so my thinking may not be that clear yet.

Chicki said...

Okay, okay! I hear you ...

Lisa Jordan said...

First of all, I hate to sweat, but I need to lose weight, so exercise is necessary--especially after Easter, sigh.

I use a treadmill regularly, but I get discouraged when I walk fast for 30 minutes and burn less than 200 calories.

I always feel better after exercise and feel like a slug if I don't.

Ann said...

OK, OK, I will come out to you guys. I just joined Weight Watchers and it calls for 30 minutes of exercise a day. Walking is about all I can do.

When the weather's fit, I can take a walk back to the creek.

I have noticed that if I mull over story ideas while walking, I often have a new idea or break-through.

This summer I'll have to help bale hay. That should count for something!

Tina M. Russo said...

ARRRGH, you got me.

So apparently there are no donuts in Seekerville today.

I am the before picture..I need an after picture.

Walt, did you make coffee? You know the rules.

Rose said...

Well...due to my husbands high blookd pressure we walk at least 30 minutes a day during the summer months. When someone else is with you it makes the exercise more pleasant.

Since we live in the midwest, during the cold winter months, I use an elipical for 30 minutes and usually read during that time. BUT I have head right down to the elipical when I get home from work for the day or I skip because it does get boring.

I do have a couple of yoga DVD's I throw into my routine when I get bored on the elipical.


Julie Lessman said...

Oooooo, Myra, I like the Mayo's Key Benefit # 6!! :)

The ONLY way I get exercise is by listening to worship music on my treadmill 30 minutes a day, almost five days a week. Uh, I also get quite a bit of plotting done during that time too, because I keep a pad and pen close by. For some reason THAT is when the best ideas seem to come. Must be the exercise and great blood flow! :)

Motivating blog, Myra, and SO necessary!


Ruthy said...

I want donuts.

And frappuccinos.

And chocolate bunnies.

And carrot cake.




Okay. Time to get serious.

Walking/running with the dogs (literally) is great exercise. They like to run for short spurts and that's about all I can handle, so it works well and keeps them healthy and me moving.

You all need dogs. Seriously. And anything you can punt farther than a football doesn't classify as a real dog in the Real Dog Directory. Don't quibble on this, it's a widely accepted fact.

So get yourself a dog and walk/run with him/her/them regularly. Great companionship, someone to bounce ideas off, excellent listening skills and dogs are discerning critics when it comes to plotlines. Try it. I would never steer you wrong.

And if you happen to pass a Dunkin Donuts on the way, then obviously, it was meant to be, right? And a smidge of donut is always a welcome doggie treat.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Come on, Myra, no reading on the treadmill! I see women at the gym reading on the treadmill and they're walking so slow, I wonder why they bother. I always think, That person needs to just go home and read!

Believe it or not (and I know it's hard to believe by looking at me) I've been going to the gym for a few years now. If I don't exercise regularly, I have NO energy. I can hardly get through the day. But it is still hard to force myself to go to the gym. I don't exactly "enjoy" it and yet it does make me feel better.

But this is actually very timely, because I've not been to the gym in about two weeks because of getting adjusted to a new medication which made me feel terrible, and because of too many appointments and other things that have been stealing my time. But I'm going today! Thanks for the motivation!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Oh, dear, Myra, you hit a weak link with this one. I used to exercise daily by walking my dogs briskly for half hour or more. But then our little one broke his leg last spring and the walks ended since the bigger one didn't want to leave without him, too.

I was just thinking that I needed to get back into that routine on Easter weekend when the family took them out for a short one and all seemed good. But then it got cold again and windy and now I put it off some more.

Thanks for the reminder, though. I really do need to get back to it. My body is the temple God gave me for His spirit to be housed. I need to be mindful and respectful of that in both the eating and exercising part of life.

Janet Dean said...

Wow, Myra, what a great post! I love to walk when the weather's decent. No dog, Ruthy, but a husband who hounds me till I go.

I've stopped walking snd going to Curves because I need every minute to get my third book whipped into shape and in on time. Why is it that the stuff that's best for me, is what goes first?

If anyone, needs some mental exercise to whip your manuscript into shape, I'd like to give a shameless plug for Shirley Jump's 4-week online class that starts tomorrow: Taking Your Book from Good to Sold. She's a fabulous teacher. Registration ends today. For more information or to register go to


Myra Johnson said...

Sorry to be late to the party this morning, but I was . . . ummmm . . . catching up on some sleep. I had a hard time falling asleep last night after the excitement of purchasing a new dog-hair-friendly vacuum cleaner and trying it out--WWWWOOOOWWWWW!!!

Okay, enough about one of my other least favorite activities (housecleaning). Instead of mocha lattes and donuts this morning, I have prepared for your feasting pleasure a huge pot of oatmeal, complete with Craisins, raisins, cinnamon, flaxseed, and brown sugar! Dig in, everyone! (This is actually what I have for breakfast almost every morning.)

And I have a pot of green Earl Gray tea for you. Healthy all the way!

Myra Johnson said...

Yes, Walt, chasing kids counts. But you have chase them at least down the block and back. Or hound them for one solid hour while they clean their rooms.

And Julie, I just knew you'd find the Mayo Clinic's #6 appealing!

What I love best about spring is getting our dogs out for a walk. And yes, Ruthy, I have real dogs. One weighs in at 95 pounds and the other is a solid 50. (Hence the need for a dog-hair-friendly vac.)

Myra Johnson said...

I think both Ann and Julie mentioned getting story ideas while walking. That happens to me, too, especially on the treadmill. Maybe because it's so boring otherwise. I get even more ideas if I'm also listening to a conference workshop because then my brain starts spinning with how I can use what I'm learning. Kinda hard to take notes at 3.2 mph, however.

Tina Pinson said...

Exercise.... Ugh.... not really. I try to exercise, however I've been doing very little the last couple weeks because I pulled my back so bad from exercising....

Have to remember those lovely stretches hey. Actually, I've been doing the stretches but lifted something too heavy and wrenched my back.

One of the things I do is walk on the treadmill on low speed and type on my laptop as I do.

I even bought a music stand so I could ride a stationary bike and put my laptop there too. Or my keyboard.

then this is also my WII... I like the stretches they have on the WII program.

Myra Johnson said...

Okay, Tina, how slow do you have to go to be able to type on your computer???

I've been looking at the Wii Fit and have heard good things about it. Maybe one of these days . . . It can't hurt if you feel like you're actually playing a game, right?

Tina Pinson said...


I do a two mile an hour walk. And if I get to writing, I have walked that and more.

I read something about how you actually lose more of stored fat if you do the slower walk.

I like my WII Fit it has several fun things and a whole workout. I got another work out program for the WII and found I like the WII Fit better for some things

Jessica said...

I have not found an effective way to exercise with the kids around. They seem to think it's wrestling time when I try to sit-ups. Monkey time when I do leg lifts. Grab my shoulders when I do squats. Can you tell I'm bitter? LOL
Thank goodness a gym with a nursery just opened in my town. Currently I have a very sore upper body from the weight machines. Yay!
I absolutely read when I bike. Woohoo!

PatriciaW said...

I actually like exercising. But I've always had a hard time making it, and myself, a priority. Except when I was single and went to the gym three times a week, but with hubby, three kids, a job, the writing, etc., who has time for that?

Hence, I turned into a 5'2" butterball.

My goal is to get in 45 min at least 5 days per week. For me, it's first thing in the morning or not gonna happen. I average more like 30 min at least 4 days per week, using cardio, walking, and strength training DVDs. Not the dance ones. The ones that really make you sweat.

I've been pretty consistent for the last 11 months, but it is HARD!!! And the results come slowly for me. I've only recently gotten to the point where getting up at 5:30 is not a DRAG.

The part I hate is racing to get dressed, do something with my hair, and still get the boys to school on time.

If you like to read while you exercise, try audio books on the treadmill. You can ratchet up that speed, and get your reading done too.

I don't think about story ideas while I exercise because then I'm not focused on what I'm doing, and I do it less effectively (bending not quite so low, stretching not quite so far, moving with less intensity, etc.)

Come on, ladies and gents. You can do this!

Myra Johnson said...

Ugh--going to the gym! That would add another hour or so to the whole exercise thing, and it's hard enough for me as it is! My hubby tried for years to get me to go to the health club with him. He's had a membership since before we were married and goes in at least 3 times a week. Just can't make myself do it. Talk about BOOOOORRRRING!!!

But WOW, Patricia! You put us all to shame! You should be so proud of yourself!

Hey, Jessica, maybe you should create a workout video for moms. "How to Use Your Own Kids for Resistance."

Audra Harders said...

Ooo Myra, great post as I'm breaking out the spring/summer clothing and discovering they shrunk over the winter months!!

I work for the county and they are always hounding us to participate in their health and wellness classes...they even pay us!!

I've participated in the steps program the last couple of years and find it reminds me to keep moving. They give you a pedometer and request you base line the amount of steps you take in a day, then increase the amount over a few weeks so that you are racking in 10,000 steps a day.

10,000 steps. Do you know how are that is to do when you work a desk job???

Anyway, I've achieved the goal and even though the challenge is over, I continue to wear my pedometer faithfully. It reminds me I need to get up and move, or walk the dog a little longer, or run in place while my lunch is in the microwave...

On a closing note, I lamented to my doctor that losing weight was getting more difficult. He didn't even miss a beat. He told me not to worry about it, I'm just thickening.


I don't want to thicken!!!

Sheesh. And we pay these guys the big bucks....

Audra Harders said...

Hey Janet. I won two free months at Curves and plan to start next week. Does it help?? Is it fun??

Does it HELP???

Audra Harders said...

Myra, sweetheart, I don't think the gym is a necessity for you. If I remember correctly, I was in complete envy of yours and Janet's figures last time I saw you!!!

Myra Johnson said...

Audra, you are too sweet! And boy, do I know about "thickening." I have a favorite pair of slacks that fits everywhere EXCEPT the waist! So I've taken to fastening the waistband with a safety pin and wearing my tops on the outside.

It's about lunchtime here, and since it's a sunny 60 degrees, it looks like a good day to take the doggies for a walk afterward. Catch y'all later, gang!

Debby Giusti said...

Ah, Myra, you hit the nail on the head. I've gorged on Easter candy. Someone hide the jellybeans, please!

Hubby and I walk most afternoons. By four o'clock or so, my eyes are tired from staring at the computer, and my body's crying for a change of position and a little fresh air.

Recently we've had afternoon storms. Guess what doesn't happen when it's raining. Maybe I need a treadmill.

carla stewart said...

Aha! I knew this was you writing, Myrs, before I scrolled to the bottom to see who was posting. I hear you. Walking our pup is about as good as it gets around here. I'm soooooo off on my water aerobics schedule, but maybe you've inspired me to take the plunge again.

carla stewart said...

Sorry. MyrA . . . not Myrs. Those two letters are just too close together on the keyboard.

Myra Johnson said...

LOL--take the "plunge," Carla? Maybe when they get the pool built at our new neighborhood Y, I might have to give water aerobics a try. But ONLY if the water temp is above 88 degrees!

Had a lovely walk with the doggies, just over a mile. Perfect day! My neighbor gets up to walk almost every morning. Her "cut-off" temperature is 20 degrees. Colder than that, and she won't go out. My cut-off? 60! And only then if there's no wind chill!

Erica Vetsch said...

I'm excited that it is finally warm enough to walk outside again. I've logged miles on the DREADmill this winter, but it isn't the same at all.

You've inspired me to head outside right now and take a walk.


Gina Welborn said...

Why exercise when talking about it is exhausting enough?

Oh, dear, my word verificaton is bellyache.

No joke.


PatriciaW said...

Myra, I feel good but I'll be proud when I shed the remaining 60 lbs.

The problem with the whole gym thing is you have to go somewhere before you can do anything. Bummer. Because that requires gathering your things, driving your car, refraining from all the errands along the way...

At home where it doesn't matter how I look or who's watching works for me. And, my sons, who get a HUGE kick out of Mommy exercising--can't blame them on that--sometimes join in.

Gina, I agree, talking about exercising is exhausting. So let's not talk, let's do it!

Myra Johnson said...

Yes, Gina, exercising gives me a major BELLYACHE!!!

I was thinking about those of you whose kids interfere (or laugh) while you exercise. I have that problem with my dogs. If I'm down on the floor, they think they need to be in my face.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Myra, Sorry about Jeanne's crisis but thanks for stepping in with great tips for exercise. I have a Nordic Track which I really love. It is handy to work out upper body as well as lower. I bought it after a winter of cross country skiing years ago and discovered my body was in the best shape ever. Its great exercise.

Myra Johnson said...

Hi, Sandra! Of course we should expect Seekerville's resident mountain bike tyrant to be into fitness!

Just Another Day in Paradise

Myra Johnson said...

Poop. My link didn't work. Trying again.
Just Another Day in Paradise

Janet Dean said...

Hi Audra, my Curves has little computers on their machines. We put cards in each machine, which lets the machine know if we're working at our level or slacking off. I'm working harder and liking it less. Mainly because it's hard to chat. That's what I liked about Curves. :-) But if I'm faithful to attend, the workouts help, especially my upper body. Let me know how you like it.


mareva said...

Hi Everyone,
No one really likes to go to the gym, but if you like to eat, I do, and if you like cake, I do, and chocolate, I do, there is simply no choice...Exercise or waddle. Or starve, not so much fun. Find something you like and do it. I love Zumba, and don't like spinning, but I went this morning. Sitting at the computer seems to make the tush mushy...and you all keep forcing food on me, so I have no choice but to tie on the sneakers....

warm hugs,

Myra Johnson said...

Mareva! Don't you know everything we serve in Seekerville is 100% calorie-free?

Now please. Your comment is sounding a bit too much like "JUST DO IT." And I don't want to. :>D

I've heard of Zumba. What's it like? Do you have to take a class, or do they have Zumba videos? I'm one of those who just won't go to a gym to work out.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, ladies. It's been a long day. Weather is spectacular, not to hot, not to cold, not even any bugs yet.

I should take a walk.

I wonder if I will.
there was that New Year's Resolution, combined with Valerie Bertinelli's bikini pics, you know she's not that much younger than me.

Missy Tippens said...

I just got an iPod to start walking and listening to workshop tapes. Now I need to use the thing!

Believe it or not, Stephanie Bond actually writes while on the treadmill! I beleive she said she uses her Alphasmart. Amazing!

Ausjenny said...

I walk with my mp3 player. most days well 5 a week i walk to and from the hospital. thats 5 mins each way but I do try to walk most days i tend to leave earlier for things. this week i haven't been able to walk much as my knee is playing up and it keeps giving out.

Leanna said...

Having high blood pressure was my motivator to exercise. But all the walking and the treadmill did nothing. It's supposed to be the best way to exercise,too. So I got a stationary bike at a yard sale and that did it. I can ride while on the phone to someone who talks alot, listen to my ipod(music, podcasts) read a book, or watch TV. My neck, feet and back don't hurt after. The huffing and puffing went away quickly. I always trick my self into getting on for just twenty minutes, which turns into forty five. I've lost 60 pounds, my blood pressure is great. And, in the meantime, I got Type II, so it helps regulate that. The hardest part it starting. But, I love excercise-when I'm done ;)

Myra Johnson said...

Congratulations on your success, Leanna! And thanks, everyone, for chiming in with your exercise advice and experience.

Spring has sprung! Let's get moving!

Ausjenny said...

but its autumn here and its getting cooler!