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  • Writer's pictureDebra Stang

7 Healthy Activities That Won’t Take Five Minutes of Your Time

Ah, yes, the glamorous life of the freelance writer. It you have a day job, like me, you stumble out of bed at the crack of dawn. Looking like something that escaped from Tales from the Crypt, you try to jolt yourself awake with caffeine while you commit a few hundred immortal (you hope) words to paper.

Eight and a half hours later, having spent your lunch break writing a query letter, you walk in the door, plop yourself down in front of your computer, and write until your eyes won't stay open another minute. The next day, you do it all over again.

This may be a productive lifestyle, but it's hardly a healthy one. However, all is not lost. There are several health-promoting activities you can engage in that won't take even five minutes of your valuable time.

Drink a glass of water. The average adult needs about eight glasses – or 64 ounces – of water each day. Staying hydrated will keep your joints loose, promote heart health, and help you stay alert and mentally sharp. 

Eat a handful of nuts. Nuts contain lots of protein, fiber, and unsaturated fat. They are considered a heart-healthy food. Unfortunately, nuts are also high in calories, so don't get too carried away. 

Take a bathroom break. Let's face it, we've all crossed our legs and sucked in to finish that last paragraph of deathless prose. Holding back urine, however, can cause the bladder to stretch and become insensitive. It can also put you at risk for urinary tract infections and kidney infections. So if you need to pee, give yourself a potty break. The writing will be there when you get back. 

Put on a fast song and dance to it. I'm partial to the Madonna dance tunes of the 80s, but pick your own poison. The vigorous movement will send fresh blood pumping to your brain and muscles. By the time you get back to your keyboard, you may even have a few new ideas.

Complete a household chore. Dust, wash a few dishes, vacuum the carpet, make the bed, or clean out the cat's litter box. You'll be pleased to have accomplished something, and getting up and moving around is good for your body.

Stand up and stretch. Get out of your chair and raise your hands over your head as high as you can. Then lean over and touch your toes. Don't bounce, just stretch gently. Then stand up again and twist your torso from one side to the other. Finish up with a couple of slow head rolls. Feels good, doesn't it?

Walk around as you talk on the phone or dictate a document. Being active is not only good for your body, it will help your creative process as well.

How do you stay active during writing sessions? 

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