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Writing and exercise

runningNow before I start, this is not a lecture… promise, but it does talk about exercise. Sorry (o;

I’m a runner or at least I’ve just graduated from jogging to running. My athletic ability and body shape is a very very very long way from the likes of Usain Bolt but I hit the pavements and park anyway.

Inspiration for this post has come about for two reasons; 1. I’ve been training for a half marathon, which I’ll do on Sunday and 2. I’ve cracked some story problems I’ve been having while out on these training runs. Exercising to help your writing has been recommended my many writers both famous and not. It’s only recently that I started thinking about my writing projects while out on a run and I’m so glad I did.

I work as a Registered Nurse by day (and prolific author by night, Yeah right… I wish it were true) and I spend a good chunk of my time telling people the benefits of exercise for optimal health and wellbeing. The problem is though, you don’t always practice what you preach. Now, I’m certainly not going to harp on about physiological benefits here, of which there are so so many, but I’d like to explore how it can benefit your creativity.

Firstly (OK, just a little physiological stuff), exercise allows for better and more effecting oxygenation of the blood, improves cardiovascular functioning and allows your your body to adapt more effectively to situations of stress. For m,e this is where exercise can help. Writing can be a stressful endeavor. There is a sea of wonderful writers out there and you are just one of them. Trying to stand shoulder to should with them can be tough. Standing out from the crowd can be tougher. Then you want to be signed up to an agency or publishing or self publish your work. Throw on top of that deadlines and the creative process itself, it’s clear that writing comes with it’s fair share of stresses. Adapting to stress physiologically and mentally can be a great release. Going out on a long walk or a run or whatever form of exercise you fancy can really change how you view and problem and help you deal with whatever is on your mind.

Here’s an article I came across while researching this post. It’s called ‘Run To Write’ and is written for lawyers but the main points are how exercise can benefit your writing. It’s really good and well worth a read. There’s plenty more online of how exercise has benefited other writers but I can only attest to my own experience and for me it’s one of the best activities I do to better my creativity.

If exercise isn’t your thing then that’s fine but everyone walks. Grab a book and walk 20 minutes to a cafe or park. Once you’ve had a sit down and a read you’ve got 20 minutes back. 40 minutes of exercise has taken place and you’ll feel much better for it if you do it regularly.

I hope this helps… (o:

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  1. #1 by suecoletta on September 16, 2014 - 10:49 pm

    You are so right, David. Exercise releases endorphins to your brain, and those endorphins aid in creativity. They are also natural pain and stress fighters and reduce depression. When I’m searching for a new story idea or am “stuck” I get myself outside, breathe in the fresh air, clear my mind, walk (I don’t run. Running is not great for women, but I won’t get into why. Let’s just say we are built differently and leave it at that.) and inevitably the literary juices start to flow. Ever had a great idea in the shower? That’s why. Your body is moving, albeit slowly, so the endorphins start to release.
    You bring up an important issue for writers. Good for you. We spend so much time sitting behind our computers that it is easy to forget that our bodies need to move.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #2 by David J Delaney on September 17, 2014 - 3:01 pm

      Thanks. It’s something I didn’t do for a long time and it was to my detriment.

      Like

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