"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Spring Fitness Tips For Writers Who Are Slackers


Blame it on my sedentary lifestyle as a freelance writer (for the lack of activity), or my ferocious metabolism that allows me to eat like a football player, yet look like a cheerleader. But, I’ve been secretly breaking all the rules.  

I sometimes eat pizza in bed after 7 p.m.; am more of a “meat and potatoes” girl than salads; and I don’t work out at the gym, nor try to adhere to B.M.I. recommendations. 

I am a proud foodie, who loves eating and cooking different cuisine, in celebrated sisterhood with culinary gurus like Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Mary Berry, and Julia Child.  

But, like many writers, I am “resolute” in changing my ways in 2024. The recent pandemic allowed for seemingly endless days of isolation and self-reflection. Bringing about a change in focus and priorities.

Here’s the deal. As I get older, I have come to recognize the correlation between good health and quality of life. In fact, the signs are all around me. A few of my friends have been diagnosed with Adult Onset Diabetes. While others are dealing with daily medications taken for high blood pressure and other lifestyle-related ailments.

Additionally, African-Americans have a higher blood pressure rate than any other group. Obesity affects us disproportionately as well. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 45% of Black adults are obese, as compared to 31% of Whites.  

In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Health is the greatest wealth.” These days I’m seeking to live a life that’s rich, vibrant and full. How about you?

What I have discovered through trial and error and observation, is that many of us well-intentioned folks get detoured on the road to good health by having lofty goals that are impossible to maintain, and based upon cookie-cutter advice  “experts” establish. True?

Accordingly, think of the following health tips as  a “cheat sheet” to a better you, to enable you to work smarter, not harder! 

Here’s the skinny on improving your fitness in 2024.

1. Recognize that fitness is a process.

Take baby steps in the beginning. Opt for taking the stairs as opposed to riding the elevator. Park your car a few blocks from where you work, to get in more walking. Behavioral experts report that it takes 21 days before something becomes a habit, so give it some time.

2. Make small changes rather than radical moves.

Instead of giving up chocolate, or swearing off meat forever, eat smaller portions and eat it less often. Weaning works wonders. Instead of committing to writing a thousand words a day, why not devote time each day to moving the needle forward on some aspect of your creative career? It can be reading books on writing, updating your blog, or simply journaling.  Every effort counts.

3. Hate exercise? Substitute. 

You can attain some of the same benefits through dance classes. Two popular styles that have emerged on the scene are Pole Dancing and Belly Dancing.  One friend of mine confessed that her recent pole dancing classes have not only helped her to tone her body, but has increased her confidence. Actress Lisa Rinna swears by dancing too. In an interview with Health Smart Today Magazine, she states, “The body changed from the dancing, and I’m trying to hold it together, with dance classes and exercise. I want to keep this body!”

4. Clean to get lean! 

Did you know that you can get a work out from house work? Vacuuming, mopping, washing windows and many of the chores you participate in each day can burn calories and help to achieve your fitness goals. So not only will you “shine,” your house will too!

5. Individualize your game plan. 

Don’t feel the need to compete or to compare yourself with your best friend’s strategies and successes, nor to follow the standards of your favorite actress. We are all different. Take into account your age, body type, lifestyle, health factors, and short and long term goals for optimal results. Consult your physician first, for maximum benefits and safety concerns.

6. Drink more water.

It’s one of the easiest and least expensive ways to improve your health.  A glass consumed before a meal will decrease your appetite. Additionally, water is reported to have several beneficial properties-- from improving the quality of skin, to removing toxins from the body, to lubricating your cells.

7. Reduce Stress.

All stress is not bad, but too much can definitely be detrimental. Stress can contribute to high blood pressure, ulcers, and a number of life threatening conditions. For this reason, it’s important to strive for a balanced lifestyle, harmonious relationships, and adequate amounts of rest. To quote a popular expression, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

The afore-mentioned regimen is not very labor intensive, nor is it considered rocket science. So there’s no reason you can’t implement these tips today to prepare for a better future tomorrow.


I must admit that In my couch potato, unenlightened days, I thought it was kind of funny to defy the odds and cheat the Gods of good health, now I’m convinced that by not adopting more healthy ways to live, I could ultimately rob my loved ones of the best me possible. 

And that would truly be a crime.  


For more tips and health strategies

Visit: http://www.healthypeople.gov/default.htm

Image credits: Pixabay.com


  1. Thanks, Jennifer, for this thoughtful and encouraging piece on spring fitness. Wishing you and your readers the best of health. While I am a fan of daily walks, I can always use more encourage to not "eat my feelings" and keep those portions small. Best, Jennifer Dotson

  2. Hi Jen,
    Thanks so much for your time and for starting the conversation off here today. I, too am sometimes guilty of "eating my feelings." LoL

  3. Hey Cheerleader and Rule Breaker. I see and hearya. Great tips and glad to find I have 6 of the 7 going. The one I don't have (#3) can easily be changed to "Hate exercise, so what, do it anyway." (LOL) as I've been using #2 & 6 increments & gulps to upgrade the habit. I'm one of your 'medicated' friends and, instead of stressing myself out, I celebrate that I made it to 64 + 3mths before BP meds. When diagnosed I told my doctor I wanted to make it to 65 without being on meds. It was never a conscious goal, just one that blurted out (LOL). I then told him I'd choose life over denial. So, love your conclusion about not robbing your family. Well stated. Smiles across the miles... and decades.

  4. Hey there, King
    Good to hear from you and get your feedback. A wise man once wrote, Don't sweat the small stuff. 🙂 Smiles back at ya! Thanks for sharing.

  5. I would encourage people to check out videos on YouTube. For baby steps, search for 10 minute videos on the activity you wish to do and work your way up. Walking is always great. And when people invite you to participate in activities you don't normally do but can physically do, give it a shot.

    I have my favorite people on YT for strength training; yoga stretches; warmups and cool downs; step aerobics; cardio; Zumba and more. So, those are breaks throughout day and I encourage to others to get to moving.

  6. You are so right, Jen! Appreciate your thoughts and encouragement. Working on being less sedentary and making better food choices. I'm with you, I approach it with moderation. Not going to cut out the chocolate but aiming for a better balance. I do get some form of exercise most everyday too.

    May you and your readers find the right balance and enjoy health for years to come! :)

  7. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for chiming in today. Appreciate you. As the Good 📚 Book states, "Moderation in all things." 🙂