Challenge,  Fun Stuff,  running

Exercise Again

Every So Often I Just Have To Talk About This…

Exercising. Critical for writers. Not a fun topic and most writers just sort of shrug and move on.

But since I didn’t get the time to really unpack everything Brandon is doing on his Kickstarter today and record some videos about it, I figured I would fill this blog tonight with a reminder to exercise.

I am working to lose weight and my goal as I have told many, is to run at least one marathon in my 70th spin around this planet.

I am building toward that with a written-out plan that I have in a notebook beside my computer. And I check off and record the progress on the weight loss and miles ran and even calories burned and ate on every day. Not kidding. (Yes, excessive, but needed.)

Right now my running weight is exactly 17 pounds away, although I would be happier with 20. Doesn’t mean I am not running some already. And I have a streak going of 6 miles a day walking/running (12,000 steps for me).  The last trip up north set me back a week, but still doing fine.

What brought this up today is that a conversation about all my mentors back when I was starting off are all sadly gone. Most of them outlived my age now, but not by much. Half were smokers, most were a lot overweight. And not a one of them did any exercise that I knew of.

So I hope to hang around for a time and one way to do that is exercise.

Besides, when I am exercising and losing weight, I feel better and have more energy. Me having more energy scares my friends, but I can live with that. (grin)

And I am tracking another goal. To have lost an even 100 pounds. That is in sight as well.

So make a little time for some safe exercise. After a few days, you will feel better. It shouldn’t work that way, but it does.


    • dwsmith

      Anything works and each of us is different. For me, I would try a triathlon if I didn’t hate riding bikes so much. I can easily do the run and the swim, just not the bike. So to each his own.

  • Philip

    This is a timely post for me. Like a lot of writers (and voracious readers), I’m pretty sedentary. The thing that was saving me was my second job, at night, was as a waiter. I’d get 12k steps per night, easy. On the weekends, twice that. I didn’t need a gym or other routine. With COVID-19, I lost that job, so now I’ve been lounging around at night. Need to make an exercise routine a priority. If left to my own devices, I’d lay on the couch reading all night.

  • Dave Strand

    Great point! I noticed that during this time of The Covids, I became glued to my computer. I wasn’t exercising, but I wasn’t really writing either. To change that, I now use exercise to give structure to the day. An alarm goes off on my computer every hour. That’s my cue to head out to the garage for a set of pushups, squats, and pull-ups.
    Not only do I feel and look better, it keeps me from getting pulled down the Facebook rabbit hole.

    • dwsmith

      Good idea there, Dave. I limit myself to exactly 10 minutes a day on Facebook. Pretty much a waste of time except seeing what friends are doing quickly.

    • dwsmith

      I agree about getting easier. I never thought I would get past a few days a week at 10,000 steps. Now I am managing 12,000 which is six miles, and used to it now. That to me is weird.

  • Kate Pavelle

    That’s great, Dean! And timely, considering the heat wave. I shifted from my pre-bedtime “Quick, let me walk around the neighborhood to finish my steps even though the air is like sucking soup” to getting out in the morning today. It was highly tolerable, even pleasant despite the amount of sun, which is weirdly strong for Pittsburgh. 73F when I left, 77F when I got back. (Normally we’re overcast 2/3 of the year.) Then I did some quick yoga.
    My goal is to make it under 200 lbs by the end of July, which is only 1.9 lbs away. First time since 1994! This will mean a 23 lb loss since last July, and a 38 lb loss since 15 years ago when I had settled into my 2nd “baby weight.”
    I love the energy, the better sleep, the electronic Jiminy Cricket that reminds me to move, or to enter my food into my app, or to go to sleep on time. Heck, I even hang the laundry on a line in the back yard because that adds to my daily movement!
    And my pants don’t fit. They’re to loose 🙂

  • Peggy

    Seconded, thirded, and infinity-ed!

    Since the quarantine, I haven’t gotten as much exercise as I used to – taking a walk during lunch at the day job went away, for example. Not only have I put on 10 pounds, I can also feel my mental energy not being as high as it was.

    Some of the mental fog is attributable to generally increased stressors (working from home with the hubby all day every day, for example), of course, but I’m certain the lack of exercise has only compounded it.

    Now that I’m back in the office a few days a week, I’m hoping to restart those walks – although 104-degree heat (40 C) doesn’t make that very appealing. Maybe a few circuits of the parking garage? That’s in the shade, at least….

    • dwsmith

      Summer is a hard time, especially during this Covid stuff. Very early in the morning is how Rusch does it, outside. I am later at night and often just in the hallways of our condo complex. Amazing how we can find ways to get the exercise if we think about it. Worth the problems in my opinion.

  • Leah cutter

    I have one of those fancy Fitbit watches. It’s set to remind me to walk 250 steps every hour, for 10 hours per day. I joke about it, calling it my tyrant of movement. Funny thing is – just that small amount of steps every hour had translated into more energy and more steps per day. Even on bad days when I don’t feel well I still obey the tyrant and walk a little every hour. It just makes me feel better in the long run.

    I’m so happy for you Dean! Losing the weight and doing the work. Go you! Yay!

    • dwsmith

      Leah, I have the Versa watch also, same reminder set up. You are completely right, it really helps to get up and move around a little every hour.

  • Gordon Horne

    I have various injuries that severely restrict my exercise options. With the pandemic I lost my walk to and from work and pacing all day in the classroom. I’ve been taking walks to nowhere to keep my injured joints from seizing up. And I’ve started going over the hills between me and the store instead of around. The few weeks at the beginning before I started walks to nowhere I was going slowly mad(der). Physical activity is definitely good for the mind as well as the body.

  • Phillip McCollum

    Great advice, Dean. I’ve made daily exercise a habit just like writing every day. In fact, your advice in one your workshops–don’t fear writing, fear NOT writing–can just as easily apply to the exercise. It’s gotten to the point where, if I haven’t exercised, I feel antsy. Just like not having written that day.

  • Rob Vagle

    I have fallen off the horse. I used use the Bowflex three times a week most weeks until we moved into our house almost a year ago. I just never got back to it after the move. Not to forget I have the machine outside where in Arizona it gets around one hundred and ten degrees in the summer.

    Alas, I started the Bowflex almost twenty years ago because I didn’t have a good self-image back then. Felt weak and no athletic ability. I do need to get back into it again. It had always felt good.

    Biking is another thing. I don’t do the miles as I used to. Increasing that would be great too for the cardio.

    Go Dean!

  • Susan Davies

    After moving to Las Vegas and your running program, you look 15 years younger now than you did in your earliest classes. Bravo Dean!

  • Rebecca

    I bought a small treadmill at the beginning of April when we locked down. It’s been a lifesaver for keeping my legs and knees from getting stiff. I could barely do five or ten minutes at a time when I started. Now I can use the walking programs and do the full 30 minutes. Exercise is really key, and I love the endorphin rush.

  • JT

    Best book on exercise I’ve ever read is “Body by Science” by Little and McGuff. The essentials for maintaining ourselves through the years.