I feel silly now for having rolled my eyes at the thought of owning a treadmill. 6 months ago, I thought, “Why? Why spend hundreds of dollars on this thing when one can walk outside for free?” But, my opinion did not matter- it was my family who was purchasing the device, and if they thought they would get into it, I certainly wasn’t about to stop them.
Fast-forward to about a month ago. I sat for hours on end at my laptop watching educational videos and reading articles from Praxis as I began their pre-program module. I loved every second, but my body was hating the inactivity. How could I fix this? How could I be active but also get my studies and work done? Suddenly it clicked: the treadmill. I could use my iPhone to read, watch videos, and write project drafts while walking. Unlike going to the park or a hiking trail, I would not be obligated to watch my step.
As I’ve done this over the past several weeks, I’ve come to realize some fantastic benefits to writing while in motion:
1.) Movement wakes me up & keeps me focused.
If I am lacking inspiration, sitting down does not help; I stare at my blank screen wishing for words, and if I don’t get words, I tend to either become distracted or sleepy. Walking helps me to stay energetic and attentive.
2.) Movement helps me think.
I often find that my best ideas strike me while I am doing physical activities. If I start writing and then begin to feel at loss for inspiration, I turn off the screen, shove my phone back in my pocket, and walk until a new idea hits me. It works almost every time.
3.) Movement prevents me from being a perfectionist.
There is a time and place for perfectionism, and the first draft/idea crafting process is not the place for it. When I am at my desk, I feel like every sentence I type needs to be perfect before I can move on. When I walk and type on my phone, mistakes are imminent. Knowing and accepting this upfront helps me to throw perfection to the wind and be okay with haphazardly blasting every idea that hits me into the document. I can perfect things later when I go back to my desk to edit.
4.) Movement lessens the negative effects of prolonged sitting.
Studies everywhere say it: sitting for long periods of time can cause everything from muscle stiffness to depression. Working from the treadmill allows me to be productive, healthy, and happy – all at the same time!
5.) Movement encourages water consumption.
Dehydration is a huge problem, and it is easy to fall into. When I am working at a desk, I get really zoned into what I am doing an often forget to take the occasional sip of water. As a result, it can cause intensified muscle stiffness, less energy, and a whole host of other issues. When I am walking, however, I am naturally more inclined to reach for my water every several steps simply out of habit.
6.) You will have a better sense of accomplishment.
If your creative time goes well, you made a lot of progress on your work and got your exercise for the day taken care of all at once. Nice work, friend! On the flip side, if you had a tough time and just couldn’t get any work completed, you’re still a winner. Check your walking stats, smile at the workout you just got, and be thankful that you didn’t waste all that time sitting at your desk!
Need more proof that this method helps?
I just drafted this entire post, completed another Praxis module, and drafted a second writing project during today’s treadmill session. Oh, and I just logged 3 miles! This feels amazing.