I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Keeping Your Resolutions: 2012 Exercising Ideas for Writers

By Alena Tauriainen

Hi, everyone! It's Alena. We are two months into 2012. How are your exercise goals coming along?

I have to be honest. I cannot let my picture on this blog hide it any longer: I’m 5’ 1½".

Yes, it’s true. I’m vertically challenged. Ten extra pounds on my short frame is a lot. Urrrgh! Add in busy schedules, such as life, work, spouse, children, school, household, and squeezing in a work-out seems, well, impossible!

For a long time I hated working out -- dreaded it, in fact. So over the last few years, I’ve learned some creative ways to fit in a work out and enjoy it.

More often than not, I head to the treadmill at 10pm. Jogging/running burns approximately 100 calories per mile.

The only problem is, well I find it b-o-r-i-n-g. I had to find a way to make the time pass quickly. That’s how I discovered NCIS. I’ve run miles watching NCIS.

Then I discovered technology. Did you know you can borrow books from the library and read them on your smart phone? I absolutely love it. I can actually read while I run. Okay, so I know that’s a learned skill (or a desperate one). You can try the elliptical machine too. It’s much easier to read a book while you’re on it. It’s also better for those with bad knees. I’ve been known to go for an hour and not realize it.

Sometimes you just don’t want to exercise to a DVD. I get it! You’ve worked a long day, who wants to break a sweat now? Here are a couple of quick and easy ideas to get some exercise in:

  • Wall Sits. Stand with your back against a wall, bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90 degree angle to the wall and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then stand up. No sweat, well okay, no literal sweating.

Don't have time to even get up out of your chair? No problem.

  • Seated Crunches. Scoot forward in your chair, hold on to the arm rests, sit up tall. Put your feet together and with bended knees, pull your knees toward your chest. While doing this, contract your abdominal muscles. Hold for about three seconds. Relax. Repeat eight times and increase as you get stronger.

Tell me, how do you fit exercise in your schedule? Do you have any easy exercises or routines to share?

Alena T.


  1. This is great, Alena! Thanks so much for your helpful tips.

    I have an elliptical...I saved up and spent good money on a gym quality machine. It's been worth every penny. My Kindle fits perfectly into the screen area, so that's when I do most of my reading for fun. Though I'll admit, this past week it's been hard to find even 20 minutes here or there to hang out with Mr. Elliptical. But I can always feel it when I get out of the groove for too long...I start to feel all saggy physically and mentally. :) On my better weeks, I fit in 40 minutes daily at least five days a week.

    So, that's my routine(ish). All that said, I made carmel rolls this morning for my coworkers...and I am going to eat one. Right now...my taste buds are only too happy to drown out the guilt. :)

  2. This is such a blast and you are so fun, Alena. I'd been told exercise late in day could energize people and make it hard to wind down for sleep, but you seem to manage--good to know.
    I love walking fast, but if you looked out my window now, 6" of fresh snow/ice still falling on Leap Year mind you, you'd understand why especially in winter I go to gym 3-4 x week to walk brisk laps 25 mins. & recumbent bike for 17. I was doing arm machine, too, but that caused me some problems at pacemaker site.
    And in background I hear many of these exercise comments relating to writing . . . Thanks for having something for all of us.

  3. Please give us more arm chair exercises! : )

  4. I've managed to fit in hiking with friends a few times a week. It doesn't feel like exercise since we talk the whole time...but my gluts burn afterward, so I know I'm getting some exercise! My dog loves it too and it tires her out, so that's a plus.

  5. Does strolling along with the dog count? Or climbing the library latter at the bookstore? :-) Everything's better with reading involved. Now that I have a kindle, I'll have to try it--the shelf on our treadmill isn't quite big enough to hold a book securely. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, Alena!

  6. Does strolling along with the dog count? Or climbing the library latter at the bookstore? :-) Everything's better with reading involved. Now that I have a kindle, I'll have to try it--the shelf on our treadmill isn't quite big enough to hold a book securely. Thanks for the tips and encouragement, Alena!

  7. Um...sorry about the repeat. Guess I'm more appreciative than I thought! ;-) Can't seem to delete it, so...Thanks again! :-)

  8. Ladies!
    Good to see so many of you are making an effort to stay healthy.
    I've been at DT this week. Oh, my ...do I have my work cut out for me!

    I'm so proud you, especially because of the winter season. Talk about discipline.

    At least you know you are going to work it off!

    I love walking in the woods, my doggie loves it too!

    It seems the hardest exercise for me to do are those push-ups. It's so worth it though....summer is just a few months away!

    Strolling with the doggie, works for me. Especially when you can work out kinks in your writing! It doesn't hurt your little puppy either :)


    Alena T.

  9. I download audiobooks from the library to listen to while I am exercising - listening to a great story makes me almost forget I'm exercising (almost...:-))

  10. The best practical advice I've heard all day.

    As writers, it is doubly important to keep fit.

    I find myself taking a few extra laps up and down my stairs to help too.

    I take them slooowly two at a time and squeeze the glutes at you go up. It's nice for glutes and quads!

  11. My Little Darlings and I do 15-30 minutes daily of Leslie Sansone's Walk at Home DVDs.

    I just started doing the Couch to 5K program. I'm not training for a marathon or anything, but I want to get myself into shape.

  12. I do Pilates 2 x a week for an hour, swim (when the local indoor pool is working) climb 3 flights of stairs I don't know how many times this week. Just got on the scales after DT and hadn't gain anything...which is amazing with your great cooking Alena!!!

  13. Alena,

    Thanks for the great advice! I've packed on a few pounds this year, so your advice is so timely! I'm trying to move a lot more. Instead of praising my efficiency for carrying multiple loads of laundry up the stairs, I'm making more trips. Instead of hollering to my kids to come down to me, I'm walking up to them. Every little bit helps.