MOVE…or at Least Get Up and Stretch!

Hello, friends, and welcome to a non-writing but necessary blog post that will hopefully have you up and toe-tapping. Or like mentioned in the title – at least stretching. 

The Rubies had a conversation a few weeks ago about our health, specifically about getting up and moving around. One of our little slippers got tied into a deadline, spent way too much time in the chair, and ended up with a medical emergency because she didn’t move enough. Yeah. That’s crazy scary considering how much we writers sit in front of the screen. So I’m bringing you some tips to help you keep yourself from…I don’t know…the ER! We’re not talking about drinking protein powder and getting back into your size 6 jeans. This is more about getting a little bit healthier.

Here are six simple tips to help you roll into summer feeling better (and maybe looking it, too):

  1. Move. Set your timer for a 20-30 minute writing sprint. When it’s over, reward yourself. Not with chocolate. With a nice walk, even if it’s only around the block. Raining or too cold? Have Alexa dial up some 80s party music and then dance. (you may want to close the blinds). Our bodies were made to move and to be productive. So make sure EVERY day that you do some sort of exercise whether it’s laundry Olympics (fold and put each item away so you’re moving constantly while doing this chore) or weeding the flower beds or walking your dog. 
  2. Dump the Sugar. I know. I know. I KNOW. I like sweets, y’all. I like skittles and Reese’s cups and cute little cookies that taste like heaven. But sugar is an enemy to your body. Not only does it add calories, but it causes inflammation and can make you sluggish. Try putting grapes or prepared berries in your fridge instead of calorie-packed, preservative-laced treats. Elect for popcorn in the afternoon or a delicious flavored hot tea. I’ll admit – this is the hardest thing for me to do. 
  3. Drink More Water. I don’t like water. There. I said it. It’s boring and tasteless and so not attractive. Where’s the color, the flavor, the little umbrella? But your body needs water. So get a fun bottle, fill it up and put it on your desk. I prefer having a straw because I tend to drink it more than if there’s a bottle cap. I can mindlessly drink more water if it’s sitting right there with a straw in it.
  4. Make a Date With A Friend. One of the best ways to ensure you’ll get up and get moving is to give yourself some accountability. Ask a friend to take a barre class with you. Or Zumba. Or whatever. Schedule walking three times a week. Not only are you forcing yourself out of a huge comfort zone – on the couch with your trusty bff (your laptop) – but you’re opening yourself up to plots, characterization, and the side benefit of getting healthy. I do Zumba twice a week, walk twice a week with my Plotting pals, and join the husband at the gym every Friday. I’m no gym rat, but I MAKE myself do it. It’s much easier when you have someone who tells you to get your butt off the computer and get to work (the other kind of work).
  5. Get a Massage. I know. You’re like Liz Talley’s lost her mind. I can’t afford that kind of luxury all the time! But what if it’s not a luxury? What if it’s a necessity? I messed up my back one time. It was like agony and pain had a baby…in my lower back. I tried all kinds of things including PT. Eventually, with the help of yoga stretches and therapeutic massage, I got over it. So now I go once a month for a deep tissue massage. It’s not an escape because sometimes it hurts, but it’s necessary for someone like me who sits a lot. It costs about $75 in my neck of the woods and I don’t miss it. 
  6. Moderation. I’m not going to tell you to dump the alcohol or coffee. Just try prying either from my cold, dead hands. But practice moderation in all things, even in exercise. You want to steadily improve your health, not sabotage it. So making tolerable changes will help you make being more healthy a reality. You can’t eliminate all the things you love (Reese’s cups!) from your world, but you can curb them. Like I let myself have a Diet Coke at the grocery check out. That’s my reward for clipping coupons and finding the perfect avocados. Yeah, I have ONE instead of a case. And I sometimes miss Zumba. But I don’t let myself fall out of the habit of going. So give yourself a break when you aren’t perfect. I swear moderation is my battle cry. A little bit is okay. Yeah, and that’s my motto. 

Okay, I could drag out a lot more health tips and talk about regular doctor visits (Fun! Right?) or how to do the perfect plank, but we’ve only got so much time before we have to get back to writing our best sellers. So why don’t you share your favorite ways to get a little bit healthier? Just don’t share any kale recipes. Yuck! LOL.

Ready, set….share your tips!

25 responses to “MOVE…or at Least Get Up and Stretch!”

  1. Heather McCollum says:

    Love this, Liz! And I have a huge sweet tooth too, and no I don’t want to cut out all sugar so I will stop craving it (although I applaud those who do). Baked goods and sugar in my tea are my cocaine, but you know, I’m okay with it. I just try to keep it in moderation.

    The thing I do well is exercise. I am a highly motivated person (who had no will power around pie, brownies or cobbler). So I do a yoga app, a HIIT workout on YouTube and walk the dog almost every morning. My problem is that then I sit for hours writing.

    I hadn’t realized how long I sit without moving until I recently got a new Fitbit that buzzes every hour to make me get up if I haven’t put in 250 steps in that hour.
    Okay – so sometimes I’m in the middle of a great scene and my fingers are flying, so I ignore the buzz for a few minutes, but then I get up and go climb my stairs and walk around picking up all the crap my loving family leaves about the house.

    While I’m moving around, I keep thinking about the scene I’m writing, so when I sit back down my fingers start to fly again. I’m hoping that in another week or so, this getting up and walking around while thinking will become part of my writing process.

    Thanks for this great post, Liz. And we are so very grateful that our fabulous Ruby Sister went to the ER. Listen to your bodies, everyone. Your stories can’t get out to the world without it.

    • Liz Talley says:

      Yes, listen to your body. That’s an excellent tip!

      And I love you have a fitbit that tells you when you’ve been too sedate. I used to have one but got out of the habit of wearing it. Maybe I need to look for that sucker….

  2. Totally happy our sister got help in time.

    I live in the northeast so the last few months have been spent mostly indoors. I get up from my writing chair every 30 minutes and walk around in the house and go up and down my stairs. In three and half hours, I can clock in a mile on my fit bit and climb six sets of stairs. Walking helps my thinking process.

    I also took a part time job which has me on my feet and walking. I’m proud to say, at my annual doctor appointment last week, I learned I’d lost ten pounds. YEA! I celebrated with a cappunico.

    Heather said the wise words. Listen to our bodies and do things and eat things in moderation. Like her, I won’t give up my once a day tea and cookies. I’ll only allow myself a second helping, if I did some serious exercise.

    • Liz Talley says:

      Yes, totally surrendering all things that bring us a little respite can sabotage the whole effort to get healthier. Like, I just went to the grocery store and now I’m sipping on my Coke Zero and munching on my good for me salad.

  3. Dana Britt says:

    I don’t think we could get this reminder often enough, Liz, thank you!
    My way of making sure I move often enough is to set my timer for 20-30 mins then get up and walk about the house (it’s too freakin’ freezin’ to walk outside just yet). I literally circle the living room, kitchen, and my study several times at a decent pace. Doing this quick, mindless walkabout amid my writing day lets me keep my head in m’story yet gets the blood moving!
    *high fives all around* We got this, y’all!

  4. Thank you for these timely reminders. Deep down we know we should be doing these things, but it is so easy to say ‘tomorrow’.

    • Liz Talley says:

      You are so right, Ann. I’m the queen of I’ll do it tomorrow. So reminding myself how important my health and a stronger body is has to be a daily thing. I don’t want to end up in a health crises. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. Great reminder, Liz! I have bad knees so the elliptical is my exercise of choice – and as an added bonus, I get my best ideas when I’m on that machine! I think the best thing is to find the movement that feels like a reward to you and stick with it. 🙂

    • Liz Talley says:

      Exactly so. I do the elliptical on Fridays and that’s mostly because I can watch TV on it. LOL. I prefer HGTV and I will even stay on longer to see the reveal.

      One thing I’m bad about doing is doing the same thing over and over. I’m pretty sure I read our bodies will adjust to the activity and the exercise can become less effective (or normalized) so it’s recommended you switch out workouts to challenge your body in new ways. I’m bad about this because I get super comfortable doing the things I do. I’m eyeing a barre class and keep telling myself I’ll try it. Maybe I need to do that…tomorrow. I’ll let you know how my challenge goes 🙂

  6. June Love says:

    These are fabulous tips, Liz! Sometimes, it takes a scare to get us moving. I believe the key to all of this is #6. Especially for the exercise. Start off slow. Know your limitations and know when it’s time to push yourself. I’ve done more damage to my knees, feet, and back by jumping into an exercise routine instead of easing into it. I finally learned my lesson. Don’t overdo it because your body will rebel.

    • Liz Talley says:

      So true, and really, everyone should discuss a diet and exercise routine with a health care professional. Most gyms have certified dietitians and specialist to help develop individualized plans. Great point!

  7. Tamara Hogan says:

    Did anyone else watch “Saturday Night Live” last weekend? For me, this faux Nike commercial strikes frighteningly (and hilariously) close to home. I couldn’t complain if my husband started calling me “Couch Panini.” I DO get tired from my naps! My FitBit, if I had one, would say I’m dead.

    I have a chronic pain condition, but I can, in moderation, move. Thanks for the reminder, Liz!

  8. Such great reminders and suggestions, Liz. Thank you!

    My weapon of choice is Jazzercise. I joined years ago when we moved across country for my husband’s job and I needed to find a way to meet people (hard for an introvert!). I’d stopped when I was pregnant with my third kid and felt like he might pop out if I bounced too much. LOL Eight years later, I rejoined and I’m loving it. Seriously. I hate going every morning, but the music really gets my body and mind flowing and I’m ready to write when it’s all over. Yay!

    • Liz Talley says:

      That’s called a win-win. You get exercise and energy to write.

      I love Jazzercise and used to do it when I lived in New Orleans. I do Zumba which is similar. I tell myself I’m going to dance class so I sound super cool.

  9. Rita Henuber says:

    Move. Do what you can each day. I am happy with being able to do more today than I did yesterday.

  10. Liz Talley says:

    Awesome! And that goes along with June. You don’t have to jump into exercise with both feet. You can do some tiptoeing, and doing a little bit more each day means at the end of the month, you’ve made some serious strides in getting healthier. Thanks, Rita!

  11. I find it so hard to leave the computer when I’m on a roll. My saving grace is the dog who insists on a long afternoon walk. Thanks for the health reminder.

  12. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    I work out every morning except Sundays (& sometimes not on Saturdays). Not always easy and am glad some days to just get it done. After that, on the week days, I sit down to write and usually keep BIC but when I get restless from sitting, I get up and move around…do dishes, fold laundry, etc.

    Water is kind of a prob for me, too, and agree…a straw helps! Sugar…am usually pretty good about that unless there are cookies involved;)

    Thanks for the reminders, Liz!!

  13. Excellent advice, Liz! I’ve been focusing on this this year. I started tracking my food on MyFitnessPal, cut my alcohol consumption in half (okay, more like 3/4), and am doing yoga and/or cardio at least 3-4 times per week. A bout of tendinitis/carpal tunnel/Idon’tknowwhatthehellitisbutitreallyhurts in my wrist and hand is making me take breaks from the computer, which is a good thing.

    Moderation is key, and if I want to see my kid grow up and get married one day I have to get my act together. So far so good. 🙂

    • Liz Talley says:

      Thinking about our kids and the possibility of grandchildren (or great grandchildren) is pretty motivating. Plus I want to model healthy behavior for my boys. Working out and eating right should be an every day thing. Thanks, Marin, and WTG on getting healthier!

  14. Addison Fox says:

    This is such a wonderful reminder!!! Writing is a wonderful thing, but to do it well you sort of have to sit in one place. Those reminders to get up and move are so very important.


  15. I love this! Thanks for the reminder, Liz!


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