As writers, many of you may sit at your keyboards hacking away forever to either reach your deadline or finish just one more paragraph. However, what do these seated hours do to your body physically? How is our circulation affected and is there a fix-it? Today we look at how to Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West. I am pleased to have Stuttgart based, personal trainer, Carla West assist us with some writer-friendly ideas on how to overcome the physical torments of writing.
Write and Stay Healthy with Carla West
Carla, I must also compliment you on your very informative website, your videos and tutorials are simply wonderful!
As you are clearly a very busy lady, I especially thank you so much for taking the time to share your message, so I will bounce right in.
TWS: Having gone through your site, I simply love your ideas and outlooks. How would you summarize your philosophy about fitness and health?
Carla: Thank you so much for all the lovely compliments! I am very honoured to be interviewed by someone like yourself.
My philosophy is very simple: Do what you enjoy.
Whatever form of training you enjoy, do it. You are never going to stick to an exercise routine that you hate. It might take some time for you to find what you like. I love doing a combination of things and pushing myself to the next level in every form of exercise I do.
That being said, there is value in every form of training. Whether you do yoga, Pilates, running, boxing or weight training. Whatever it is that you enjoy – just make sure you stick to it. Be consistent. Do it multiple times a week. Set goals. Soon enough exercise will become a habit and something you even look forward to, not a chore. And of course support your training with good nutrition; fuel yourself so that you can perform at your best. Stretch, use a foam roller. Give yourself days off to let your body repair and recover.
Basically, just take care of yourself.
TWS: Do you have any ideas on how we can perhaps increase our circulation while writing? It would be great to get our articles out and work out! Heaven knows, with the hours we put in, we too could look great! This may be a long-shot, but is it possible?
Carla: Of course it is possible! Luckily short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between emails and writing can help improve fitness levels and heart health.
Here are a few tips:
- Always take the stairs – take two at a time for a real leg burn.
- The Seated Leg Raiser – While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps.
- Perfect your posture – perfect posture is a must for long days at the desk. Adjust the chair height to make sure the feet, hips, and arms are at 90-degree angles to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!
- Shoulder blade squeezes – For improving hunched posture, squeeze your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds, release, and repeat.
- Wrist stretch. Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
- Back twist. Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
- Neck rotations. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.
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15 min Workout
TWS: Many writers, myself included, discipline ourselves to take 15 – 20 min break from our PCs every so couple of hours. Could you suggest a workout that one could do in such a short time?
Carla: Yes! The most beneficial workouts would be a quick 15-20 min High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session, because honestly that’s all the time you need. A few benefits of HIIT include: Increased energy, boosted metabolism, muscle tone improvement, reduced body fat.
For a quick hard HIIT session I would suggest choosing 4 exercises. Existing out of one for lower body, one upper body, one for abs, and one that’s a bit more cardio related and gets your heart rate up. For example: Squats, push-ups, crunches, and Burpees. Do each exercise for 1 minute and only take a 10 sec break between the exercises. You get a 1 minute break after the 4 exercises and then you start the circuit over again. In 20 min you should’ve been able to do 3-4 Rounds and you will be sweating. 🙂 Those are very basic examples of exercises; please feel free to switch it up and add your own.
TWS: When visiting your site, I was especially intrigued by your thoughts on diet remains essential. Can you advise which foods writers should focus more on? Foods to assist with concentration, foods that will fuel us, but not hang around forever? Can you think of a ‘writer-friendly’ diet?
Carla: The habit I suggest all my clients is planning ahead, buying healthy snacks in advance and having them at your desk will keep you satisfied and stop those afternoon sugar cravings to kick in that will hinder your concentration as well. Good examples of snacks to have at your desk would be:
- Fruit or Dried Fruit
- Protein Bar, Fruit & Nut Bar, or Energy Bar
And foods that will improve your focus:
- Green tea
- Leafy green vegetables
- Dark chocolate
- Flax seeds
Message for Writers
TWS: Lastly, and once again thank you for your time and sharing all this exciting information, but what would your ‘mantra’ be for writers?
Carla: “I am responsible for my own destiny.”
This might not be specific to only writers but anything you do in life, everything you put your heart and soul in will be successful. I love knowing and reassuring myself that I am in control of my own life, my happiness, success, body, fitness, food, mental health and state of mind. It’s all up to you to make the decision and to take action.
As previously mentioned, I must stress that you visit her powerfully insightful site, its loaded with amazing tools that we can use on a day-to-day basis. What I find different about Carla, is she is real.
Carla specializes in body conditioning, body fat and weight loss. You can reach Carla at any of the following.
I so enjoy Carla’s style, her outlook and her manner of simplifying matters. I know I am going to get started with my workout as of this very moment!
Do you have any ideas you would like to share? Please feel free to leave comments or contact me. Remember, I am always interested in posting Guest’s Blogs, so if you have anything insightful to share, please don’t hesitate to contact me.