Writers sit a lot. Sure, we get up and move around when we're stuck (at least I do), but the majority of the time is spent in a chair, in front of the keyboard or with pen and notebook. And, if you're like me, I get hungry when I write - so I inevitably end up snacking. I try and eat the healthy stuff, but dark chocolate apparently helps me in the creative process.
Here are a few reasons why you need to exercise if you're a writer:
1) It feels good. Yesterday I was in a foul mood - probably because I hadn't exercised for a few days. Once I got on the treadmill and weight machine, I felt so much better. Just getting up and moving can do wonders for your emotional health, too. And that helps you churn out better prose!
2) It's good for you. Exercise has so many benefits, but it's worth it to list them again. It helps to control your blood sugars, strengthens your heart and lungs, combats some chronic diseases, helps you sleep better, and manages your weight. It also can help you feel less tired. Before I started exercising, I also felt lethargic and wouldn't hesitate to sit on the couch because I didn't have the energy to move. I have more energy now. If I happen to take a week off from exercising (which I try very, very hard not to), I can instantly tell. I feel lousy and unmotivated. I sometimes have to force myself to work out, but I'm always glad that I did when I finish.
3) It helps you think. Have a plot problem? Can't figure out why your character is acting the way they are? Jump on the treadmill. Hit the weight machine. Take a walk. Just move. Last night on the treadmill, I was working out a few specifics to my characters' motivations and I got so lost in thought that by the time I looked at the clock, I'd walked a lot longer than I originally planned.
4) It gets you off the chair! Your body wasn't meant to sit for hours at a time in front of a computer. Yes, you may get lost in your story and look up and find that two hours have gone by. But while this is a good thing for your story, it's a bad thing for your body. At my last job, I used to set a reminder for myself through my email program that would pop up and say, "Take a break and stretch." At my new job, I get up and down from my desk quite a lot, so I don't use this option anymore. But even if you work at home, set an alarm clock to go off every half hour to 45 minutes. Stretching, getting up and walking around, or throwing a load of laundry into the dryer will keep your muscles limber.
Don't put it off anymore. Your mental and physical health are delicately entwined, and you need to take care of both, especially if you want to keep writing! Stop feeling guilty for not exercising - and just start moving. Your writing - and your life - will improve!