8 Hours For Everything Else

To paraphrase Jamie K. Schmidt from her fabulous workshop on Writing Novellas, there are 24 hours in a day. That breaks down into:

8 hours of sleep

8 hours of work

8 hours for everything else

8 hours for everything else?

That’s huge! That’s 56 hours a week! That’s more than enough time to fit in everything, including writing and exercise (and laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and most importantly, nurturing the important relationships in your life).
Hmmm…if I write only 1 hour a day, that still leaves 49 hours a week for everything else, including hitting the gym for an hour every day.
Who am I kidding? It takes more than an hour to pick out cute gym clothes, drive to the gym, work myself into a hot mess, shower, dry my  hair, drive home, and dump my sweaty clothes into the laundry.
To be honest,  as important as activity is to my overall health and well-being, on many days exercise takes a backseat. I needed to find some alternative since as a writer, I have a sedentary lifestyle by default.

Let’s be honest here. Writers don’t usually move around a lot while they write.

The solution? On those days here you can’t find a way to make it to the gym, sneak in 5 minutes of activity every 45 minutes throughout your day. By the end of an 8 hour workday, that’s a 45 minutes workout!
It’s easy. All you have to do is be a little creative. Climb some stairs. Stand up and sit down at your desk (squats). Take a 5 minute walk. Do wall pushups.
But don’t stop there! Find ways to increase your activity at home. I asked the very creative members of CTRWA what they could do to increase their daily activity at their homes. Here’s some of what they came up with:

  1. Put on music and dance while getting dressed in the morning.
  2. Stretch before gong to bed, and after getting out of bed.
  3. Remain  standing while your put on your pants. (I’d like to add to this one: you can work on your balance if you remain standing while putting on your shoes and socks).
  4. Add 5 minclean kitchen secretutes of cleaning something to your morning routine (preferably something you have to scrub vigorously; or vacuuming).
  5. Buy a big dog and step over him while he lies on the kitchen floor. (Or get a puppy, and work your way up as it grows.)
  6. When you have to make a trip downstairs, turn around and repeat the trip an extra time.
  7. If you spend most of your time downstairs, store the things you use regularly upstairs to add more stair climbing into your day. And vice versa.
  8. Wash your floor on your hands and knees.
  9. Wipe down counters an extra time (not in an obsessive “It’s not clean enough” way, but in a “Wash on, wash off” Karate Kid kind of way).
  10. Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care…while sitting on the toilet.
  11. Scrub the floor around and behind the toilet. That will make everyone happier.
  12. Do pushups off the bathroom sink.
  13. Put the most commonly used products in the kitchen on a higher shelf so you’ll have to reach for them. Conversely, put some into the lower cabinets so you will have to bend to retrieve them.
  14. Open and close the medicine cabinet extra times (no slamming).
  15. While taking that well-deserved bath, do really slow sit ups. Then soak.

Pretty creative, right?

If you look at this list for what it is, you will find a pretty well-rounded workout. All the major body groups are targeted, and it includes stretching. Intensity can be varied according to your current fitness level.

And, you will be setting a great example for your loved ones.

Print out this list and post it next to your computer/workspace.

Every time you feel like getting up or stretching, pick something off the list and squeeze it in. Your future self will thank you.

I’d say this brings a whole new meaning to the term “Home Gym.” What creative ways can you come up with to increase your activity?

1 thought on “8 Hours For Everything Else

  1. Rebecca Gurland

    Very good ideas! #10 is so funny (doable and gets me grinning). #12- make sure the sink will hold 🙂

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