In my mid-thirties, I hit that point where all of a sudden the metabolism plummets and all of a sudden everything you eat goes straight to your hips/waist/boobs/butt and it doesn't matter how much you run, the pounds creep on. At that point I joined a local gym and discovered Zumba and weight lifting. I never knew exercise could be fun! Those are still my go-to activities during the week, though I do still throw in a run or a walk or a yoga or Pilates class too.
What's my point? It's so important to move.
Especially as adults, and especially if you are a full-time writer or working from home or largely office bound. I cannot emphasize how crucial it is for your overall well-being. Raising your heart rate has so many benefits, from controlling blood pressure to keeping weight down to producing muscle (which keeps weight down, b/c muscle burns more calories than fat does) to lowering your risk of pretty much every illness and disease out there.
Perhaps more important that the physical benefits, though, are the mental. emotional and psychological ones. Exercise produces endorphins -- this is a proven fact. Endorphins are the "feel good" chemicals of our bodies; sex, chocolate, and drugs produce them too :) So every time you go for a walk or dance or lift weights, you're giving your brain a feel-good boost. You're helping your mood. You're also helping your brain function, by the way. How many times have you writers gotten stuck at a point in a story, gone out to hit the street or treadmill, and found a creative solution while you were huffing and puffing? Yup. That's exercise at work.
As I get older, I credit regular exercise for just about everything good in my life. Knock on wood, I have almost no physical ailments. I can keep up with (or out-perform) a lot of the women at my gym who are half my age. In fact, a (much younger) friend of mine just asked me to join her team for a "mud run" next month. I'll be the oldest on the team by a good 12-13 years, and when I pointed out this fact to her, she laughed and said, "Yes, but you're in the best shape of any of us." Okay, I'll take that.
I will also take knowing that in the dark moments of my life, when I have been let down by work or lost someone close to me through illness or death, exercise will inevitably make me feel better. In fact, when I look back, I can state with absolute certainty that dancing or running or lifting to fatigue was often the only thing that saved me from falling into depression. There is a social aspect to exercise as well, if you're going to classes or running or walking with a friend. And that social aspect is just as important to our longevity as the calories we're burning.
It's so important to MOVE. It doesn't have to be exhausting. It doesn't have to cost you a thing. Just get up and do it. You WILL feel better.
Tell me! Do you exercise? What's your favorite? Has it saved you?