"Oy, my sciatica!"
"My lower back is killin' me."
"My legs are numb."
"That chair bruised by butt-bone."
"Who took my doughnut pillow?"
If you've ever uttered something along any of those lines, chances are your ass is not the cushy bubble-butt it once was. Chances are it's spreading, like an alien amoeba seeping from a meteorite to devour a town. Muscles that once provided perfect padding have shrunk. Tufted flubber is pushin' the cushions outward. Nerves twitch and pinch, unaccustomed to the changing terrain.
Trust me. I've met The Blob. We've become rather attached...much to my groaning couch's dismay. The Doomsday Cheerleaders tell us to get up and walk every hour to combat Death's slow creep.
Most writers I know, when they hit The Zone, lose chunks of their day to the words flowing onto the pages. A five minute jog every hour isn't going to happen. So what can you do to prevent Writer's Large Ass? Carpe Thieve 'Em -- Steal Some Moments. Here are my Top 5:
1. Jumping Jack Crash: Your stomach reminds you that you haven't eaten. Your brain shrieks from the caffeine crash. Your body signals the sugar slump. You unfold from your hunkered pose and hobble to the kitchen. Before you cross that threshold...Stop. Jumping Jacks. Single move, or counted three-point. Do enough to get your blood pumping. Could be five. Could be fifty. Whichever. The point is oxygen to brain and blood to the extremities. Remember, before you enter the kitchen. Nobody wants the dishes to fall out of the cabinets.
2. Chair Yoga: We all need to stretch more. Not only does it keep our assorted body-bits aligned and pinch-free, it keeps us from strangling Personus Interruptus. Want a decent routine?
3. Microwave Squats & Lunges: While you're waiting on the burrito to heat, sneak in a set of squats or lunges. Focus on form not speed. Count the seconds ticking down as you count through the movements. Remember to breathe, inhaling that scent of bean paste and brown salt crumbles.
4. Wash Hands, Lift Legs: When you're at the sink, linger for an extra minute to be a baby ballerina with some easy yet effective standing leg lifts. Try not to kung-fu the cupboard door.
5. All Dogs Have To Pee: If you have a dog (or a cat that can stand a leash), take them outside for a quick pee-break. It doesn't have to be far. It doesn't have to be a hike. They need to potty, you need to shake off the spine-curl that happens when you type. Five minutes of fetch or frisbee will mean the world to your pet.
*Bonus: Treadmill (Desk) -- If you have the coordination to walk and scribe, the Treadmill Desk is the ultimate win. Jeffe is our resident expert and has blogged about it on her personal blog. Since I can barely handle walking and gasping at the same time, I give a normal treadmill undivided attention for an hour. I use it as a physical and mental break between my analytical tasks and my creative writing. I don't run, not even when chased. I do, however, abuse the incline to challenge my muscles and my lungs.