I don’t know where you write, whether it be at a desk, on a table or sitting with your laptop on a couch, but more and more studies are being released that prove that sitting for long periods of time can be hazardous to your health. The Atlantic reports that “people who sat more than 11 hours a day had a 40% higher risk of dying in the next three years than people who sat less than four hours a day.” As a writer who sits for long periods writing the NaNoWriMo, here are a few things you can do to keep yourself healthy.
1. Write Standing Up – Hemingway was famous for this, but his lifestyle of heavy drinking and other things didn’t help much. This also helps with the circulation in your legs and allows you to walk away from the computer (or tablet) and do other things while you are hammering away on the novel. I heard one person at a writing conference even suggest attaching a laptop to a treadmill or to a stationary bike, but that’s way over the top in my book.
2. Stretching – Every hour or so, stand up and put yourself through some stretching exercises. I own a Xbox 360 with Kinect, and one of the things I love about it is that I can get a little exercise every day without a gym membership and can get the blood pumping through my system. My kids love it, too…mostly how funny I look dancing around the living room.
3. Hydrate – It is estimated that the human body needs about 3 liters of water a day for men and 2.2 liters for women per day to replenish those “precious bodily fluids” that General Jack D. Ripper was so concerned about. Seriously, though, it is also estimated that many people walk around most days completely dehydrated or on the verge of dehydration. One great byproduct of staying hydrated is that it makes you get up and go to the restroom on a frequent schedule, which is an easy break from writing.
So take care of your body, because you need that fabulous brain to get you through this month’s rigorous project.