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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Drop and Give Me Twenty!

By Rachel Hauck

All right writers, drop and give me twenty! Okay, One.

I’m going to say a word most of you will hate: exercise. 

Yeah, I know, the excuses are long and many.

“I hate it.”

“I don’t have time for it.”

“It’s too cold.”

“It’s too hot.”

“My legs hurt. My arms…”

“I sprained my eyelashes.”

I get it. But as writers, we need to take care of our bodies as much as our hearts and minds.

I'm not a health nut but I do believe in exercise to keep us writing-fit.

Sitting all day is hard on writer. A few years ago I realized my entire body hurt. I was starting to think I was going to have to life with pain in my shoulders, hips and back the rest of my writing life. While I wasn’t happy about it, I wasn’t sure what to do.

Other than hot baths.

And over time, those didn’t work as well. I had a neck warmer thingy with beads in it that I’d heat up in the microwave. But I finally burned up the insides.

Then I found Tony Horton’s P90X. I’ve always been an exerciser – biking, lifting weights, running, spinning, aerobics – but I wasn’t purposeful.

Tony Horton made me more purposeful. His P90X program is intense. The routines are long so it’s hard to fit in an average day, but along the way, I learned a few strengthening tricks that eradicated my pain.

One, I got a good chair. I’d been sitting in an Executive chair for years. The kind where the seat and back are concave. But the sides of the seat were padded so half my back side was down, half up, shifting my hip out of whack.

The lack of support on my back caused me to hunch my shoulders and arch my back. Over time, I knotted up and stayed knotted.

I splurged and bought a nice, ergonomically correct chair. In fact, I'm on my second one!

Two, I started working out with Tony Horton. He had me doing dips and push-ups, and all kinds of mean squats, but my shoulders and arms began to get built up.

My hips and backside got stronger so sitting all day wasn’t such a strain. 

Core. Let’s talk core. Very important. And probably the last place most of us focus. Core is from you neck down to your thighs. Sit ups and crunches, push-ups, squats, all the stuff we did in elementary P.E. class is core for our cores!

What are you doing to keep your body strong? Are you going from the bed to the car to the office chair to the dining room table to the couch and finally back to bed?

Do you have joint and muscle pain? I think you can rid yourself of some of it with a few good, purposeful exercises.

Here’s some tip recaps.

1.             Get a good chair. If you can’t afford one, pray for the Lord to give you one. It makes a huge difference. A good mattress too. We got a Sleep Number bed and my hip pain left.

2.             Drop and give me one! One good push up. Work up to ten or more a day. By push up, I’m legs extended in the plank position. Not on your knees, girls.

3.             Do some squats. Stand with your feet a few inches apart and sit down into a squat, touching your fingers to the ground. Then stand, raising arms over head and repeat the squat. If you get ambitions, you can jump for the last few squats.

4.             Work your core. Sit ups, crunches, oblique exercises.

5.              Find a good workout DVD, or gym class, or a good walking routine. Keep moving!

6.             Improvise. I’ll put on a fun worship CD and boogie around the house, maybe do some “whacky-jacks” in the midst of it, work those obliques.

So, what changes can you make to start building your body to be a better and stronger writer?

P.S. Some of the best ideas come while exercising! 


Rachel lives in sunny central Florida. 

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in uncomfortable chair to write full time eleven years ago.

She’s the author of New York Times, USA Today, EPCA and CBA best selling novels. She is a RITA and Christy finalist. 

Her latest book, The Wedding Chapel, was named to Booklist Top Ten Inspirational Novels of 2015.

She co-authored the critically acclaimed Songbird Novels with platinum selling country music artist Sara Evans. Their novel Softly and Tenderly, was one of Booklists 2011 Top Ten Inspirationals.

Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, a conference speaker and worship leader.

Rachel writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.


  1. currently in physical therapy! nuff said! LOL that counts, right?

  2. "I’ll put on a fun worship CD and boogie around the house, maybe do some 'whacky-jacks' in the midst of it..." -Will we see some of those moves on the ACFW stage in August during Worship and Write? :)

    Great post. I do need a new chair--mine is ridiculous. Thanks for the reminder. I still dance ballet! #DancersOver40

  3. There is more than one way to be a firm believer! ;) Exercise is absolutely necessary in a writer's life. I enjoy running and lifting weights, but even a brisk walk is good for the lungs, heart, back, and leg muscles. The sedentary life is a silent killer.

  4. Robin, yep, that counts.

    Patricia, hmmm, if you do the whacky-jacks with me! I'm in awe of ballet dancers. Jealous!

    Rick, so true. I noticed the older I get the slower I get. Need to keep moving.


  5. Some of my best story ideas or plot twists come when I'm out on a run -of course, this means I have to repeat the idea to myself over and over so I can remember it when I get home and can write it down, lol.

  6. Yay! Another P90X fan! I'm currently alternating P90X3 (it's only thirty minutes, for the time crunched!), P90X2, running on the treadmill, and Insanity.

    Last year was my first year of working at a desk full-time, writing and being a newspaper page designer. After six months my neck and shoulder were a mess. I went to the chiropractor twice a week for months. When I finally stopped to pray I knew I needed to do upper body work (not my favorite), so I went through my first round of P90X3. By the time I was done my neck and shoulder had stopped hurting.

    We can be proactive and prevent problems! Now if I can figure out how to do that in my plotting!


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