I’m not one to make New Year resolutions, but once April rolls around, I start to think about how I’ve spent my time in the winter months. Did I exercise enough? Did I eat healthy foods instead of the bags of chips I crave? Usually my answer is yes on the exercise and 50/50 on eating well. But as the temperatures start to rise (okay, maybe only here in Florida right now since some of you are still getting snow!), I love to get out of the house. Enjoy nature. So this is the time of year I start to make changes.
As a writer, I spend long hours sitting in front of the computer. I do take breaks to stretch, but that doesn’t replace activity and getting the blood flowing. If you have a job that requires long periods of inactivity, I’m sure you can relate, so I think some motivation to nudge us in the right direction is in order.
1. Exercise. As I get older, I realize the importance of moving. No matter your age, keeping in shape is vital for so many reasons. Exercise helps you maintain or lose weight, increases metabolism and builds muscle mass, helping to burn more calories.
There are so many ways to be active. I force (yes, force) myself to go to the gym at least three times a week, but if you’re not up to that, try walking or biking around the neighborhood. I keep a set of weights by the couch. When I’m watching television, I can work on muscle tone. You don’t have to run a marathon to be healthy, but you do need to push your boundaries.
2. Moving improves mobility and balance, along with your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls.
If you sit all day, you probably find that at the end of the afternoon you’re stiff and achy. Stretching moves certainly combat that fatigue. Pilates or yoga are a great way to work out the kinks. Some days I sit on my stability ball while I work to relieve lower back pain.
3. Exercise also has important health benefits because it improves sleep, boosts your mood and kick starts the brain. Whenever I’m at a point in my book where I can’t decide what direction to go next or I’m having difficulty figuring out a scene, I go the gym, jump on the treadmill and I’m amazed at the ideas that start flowing.
4. Take advantage of fresh vegetables and fruit once they become available in your area. Eating healthy will make you feel better and maybe even help you lose those few pounds you might have gained during the winter season.
And just so you know I’m taking this advice myself. I took a class at the gym this morning so I expect my word count to go through the roof today!
If you’re already taking steps to be more healthy, good for you! And if you need a little nudge, think about how good you’ll feel once you to get started. There are so many different ways to bounce into spring, full of energy and ready to tackle the world. Baby steps will turn into longer strides which will turn into feeling and being the best you possible. Just as we readers love the journey our characters undertake when we start to read a book, we can apply that attitude to a good quality of life. Enjoy the journey and most importantly, have fun!
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of sixteen novels. Family values, a bit of mystery and, of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her Harlequin Heartwarming romance, HIS ONE AND ONLY BRIDE, available now. Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.