As a writer, it’s all too easy to spend too many hours sitting in one place. Or, in my case, two places.
Right after I put on the coffee, I head to my office and turn on my computer. The first thing I do is check my sales for the month. This is either a good idea or a very bad idea. If I’ve sold some books, I feel energized to keep working. If I haven’t, too often my reaction is “what’s the use?”
Sales or not, by this time my coffee is usually done, so I grab a cup and visit some writer sites. I’m including Facebook here, which is probably a major mistake, since it’s all too easy to get lost on Facebook. I usually write after breakfast and a shower, probably spending two hours on this before I take a real break.
The other place I sit is in my recliner. Here, I can either turn on the TV and watch Jeopardy or the Red Sox or something on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I also have a stack of magazines, my Kindle, and my iPad on the end table next to me. I do most of my reading in that spot.
When I had a day job, my routine included going for an early morning walk. You have to go out early in Arizona because midday is usually too hot for walking. But with retirement, my morning starts are a lot slower than they used to be. I hardly move at all. By the end of the day, my body is stiff and sore from too much sitting.
I knew I had to change this.
About a month ago, I discovered that my supplemental health insurance included Silver Sneakers, a program for Medicare-aged people that includes a gym or fitness center membership. Now, I thought I’d looked for that when I bought my supplemental plan, and it wasn’t there, probably because of the low rate I was paying. But it was there now.
So I signed up with Curves.
One of my friends calls Curves cross-training for grannies, and that’s pretty much what it is. Curves isn’t a traditional gym. It has a circuit of various machines that exercise different muscles of the body, interspersed by platforms where you march in place. It doesn’t take long to do—thirty minutes I what they say, plus ten to fifteen minutes of stretching afterwards—and the lively music keeps you going.
Most people keep come at the same times each week, so you recognize them and get to know them. It’s all women, all older, most not very fit, so you don’t have the embarrassment of a traditional gym where you’re afraid everyone is looking at you and judging you.
One of the things I always wonder about is whether I can stick to a program like this. There are so many excuses not to. I had one of those last Monday. It was one of those days where I woke up stiff. My back was aching. All I wanted to do was sit.
But I made myself go to Curves anyway. I knew if I gave myself an excuse so soon after getting started, I’d soon be going two times a week instead of three, then skipping weeks entirely.
By the end of the workout, the pain and stiffness in my back was gone. I felt really good that I’d kept to my fitness routine. Just like the book sales keep me happily writing, the way I felt after that workout keeps me going back to Curves.
Now I have to work on my diet.