Uniting Women and Teenage Girls to Impact Their World
Home Invites Members Groups Events Videos News Photos Blogs Chat
Home > Blogs > Post Content

Computer Fitness for Writers (432 hits)

Computer Fitness Tips
By Venus Mason Theus

Before we even get into the craft of writing, let's talk about maintaining healthy habits as a writer. If you’re like me, you will spend a large amount of time in front of the computer. Admittedly, I spend very little time getting physically active. While my honorable mission is to spread the gospel through my writing, I realize that I’m doing my body a disservice by not properly maintaining it. Without question, sitting at a desk for hours at a time day in and day out for several years has taken a tremendous toll on my spine and joints.

In my “former” life, I was an office worker for more than 20 years and I’ve been nurturing my inner author for the past four years or so. That means I’ve been relatively sedentary for nearly half of my life. It is therefore understandable that my desk duties and improper care of my body were major contributing factors to the injuries to my back which required two surgeries. Even as I am composing this article I’m suffering from pain in both shoulders, my left elbow, wrist and sometimes both my knees. The culprit? Again, endless hours of being voluntarily tethered to my desk.

I’ve also noticed that what used to be a “little pouch” is now resting on my lap! Don’t get me wrong, I’m very conscientious about eating healthy meals. HOWEVER… I must confess that I have a weakness for fat and salt-laden potato chips. I’m not going to even “go there” with you about snacking! We all know what we should and should not eat between meals.

This year, I plan to do better by my body temple – scout’s honor! I’ve done a little homework and compiled some fitness tips for those who spend time “tethered” to a desk. Know that I’m “preaching to the choir” as I list them:

• Keep Your Body In Motion - Instead of crossing your legs, you may bounce one leg for a bit and then the other. Keeping your legs crossed constantly can lead to reduced blood circulation, so combine motion while you are working with your frequent breaks
• Consider Ankle Weights - Ankle weights are pretty cheap and even just a pound can add to the workout when you are stretching your legs or bouncing them - don't overdue it, the last thing you want is an injury created by too much stress
• Eat Your Meals Regularly - Don't skimp on breakfast and if you eat a small meal about every three to four hours, there is far less desire to munch on junk food while you are working at your desk. Don't forget to take a break and go for a walk or move around every 45 minutes or so
• Check the Position of Your Chair - When you are sitting at your desk, you should have good posture and your keyboard should be in easy reach without a lot of stress on your wrists to type - if it hurts to type for any length of time then maybe you need to make some ergonomic adjustments to allow for positive posture and comfortable wrists

Chair Exercises Can Help
Chair exercises may be the perfect solution. As with any exercise program, get your doctor's okay prior to starting if you have a medical condition or other health concerns. Take the time to warm up your muscles before exercising.

Just because you're exercising in a chair doesn't mean you can forgo this important step. Warming up can be as simple as doing your first exercise set without weights. Throughout these exercises, maintain good posture. This means no slouching, chest lifted, and head in a neutral position. Some people find that tightening their abdominal muscles helps to achieve good posture.

As a beginner, aim to complete one set of each exercise. Each set should contain between 8 to 12 repetitions, depending upon the amount of weight used and your current training level. As you advance in your training, work up to three or more sets per exercise.

All of these exercises can be done in one workout or spread out over a period of two or three days. Whatever your training routine, make sure that rest and nutritious meals are also part of your new lifestyle. Without proper rest and nutrition, your muscular gains will suffer. Do you have a chair without side armrests nearby? Then let's get started!

SEATED ROW This exercise targets your Latissmus dorsi muscles. In the gym, they're commonly referred to as 'lats.' The lats are big muscles, running from the armpit down to the small of the back. Building up your lats will help towards achieving that 'V' shape by increasing upper back width (and hopefully making your stomach area look smaller). To perform this exercise:
• Sit upright in your chair, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides.
• Lean forward from the waist and keep your head up.
• Dumbbells should be hanging down at your sides with palms facing in.
• Pull the weight up to your lower abs, keeping elbows close to the body.
• Lower the weight in a controlled manner.
PEC SQUEEZE This exercise strengthens the inner portion of the chest. Be careful not to use weights that are too heavy; this will cause soreness in your shoulders. To perform this exercise:
• Sitting upright in your chair, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Shoulders should be down and relaxed.
• Lift your upper arms out to your sides and parallel to the floor. Palms should be facing forward with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.
• Sitting with dumbbells in hand, lift the dumbbells to shoulder level with elbows bent. Palms should be facing forward.
• Press the weight up. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows at the top.
• Carefully bring the weights down to shoulder level again.
TRICEP KICKBACKS This exercise narrows in on the triceps without using secondary muscles (such as the chest). To perform this exercise:
• Sit upright in your chair, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides.
• Lean forward from the waist, keep your head up.
• Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and keep them close to your body. (This is your starting position.)
• Keep the upper arms stationary while you straighten your arms back.
• Squeeze at the top, and then return to the starting position.
DUMBBELL CURLS This is an exercise you may already be familiar with. To perform this exercise:
• Sit upright, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides. Palms should be facing forward.
• Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders.
• Carefully bring the weights back down.
SEATED CRUNCHES This exercises works your abdominal muscles, or abs. To perform this exercise:
• Sitting upright, lean forward and contract your abs while breathing out. It doesn't take much of a forward lean to feel the squeeze.
• Hold your squeeze for two or three seconds and then return to an upright position.
• Concentrate on bringing the elbows together (not your hands). Hold this squeeze for a second or two, and then carefully bring the arms out again to your sides.
OVERHEAD DUMBBELL PRESS This exercise will strengthen your entire deltoid muscle. Strong shoulders can make your waist appear smaller and help improve your game. To perform this exercise:
• Sitting with dumbbells in hand, lift the dumbbells to shoulder level with elbows bent. Palms should be facing forward.
• Press the weight up. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows at the top.
• Carefully bring the weights down to shoulder level again.

TRICEP KICKBACKS This exercise narrows in on the triceps without using secondary muscles (such as the chest). To perform this exercise:
• Sit upright in your chair, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides.
• Lean forward from the waist, keep your head up.
• Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle and keep them close to your body. (This is your starting position.)
• Keep the upper arms stationary while you straighten your arms back.
• Squeeze at the top, and then return to the starting position.

DUMBBELL CURLS This is an exercise you may already be familiar with. To perform this exercise:
• Sit upright, a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides. Palms should be facing forward.
• Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders.
• Carefully bring the weights back down.

SEATED CRUNCHES This exercises works your abdominal muscles, or abs. To perform this exercise:
• Sitting upright, lean forward and contract your abs while breathing out. It doesn't take much of a forward lean to feel the squeeze.
• Hold your squeeze for two or three seconds and then return to an upright position.
Posted By: Venus Mason Theus
Saturday, January 17th 2009 at 11:54AM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...
Email:
Password:

 
More From This Author
How to Prepare for a Writers Conference by Edie Melson
Pearls of Wisdom for Wives Ebook arrives on Valentine's Day!
Free Tips for Writers from Best Selling Author Kim Brooks
2nd Annual Seminar for Aspiring Christian Writers
Exorcising the Writer's Block Demon
Is Your Marriage Joyfully-Ever-After?
Mistaken Identity!
New from Venus Mason Theus!
Forward This Blog Entry!
Blogs Home

(Advertise Here)