“Rewriting Wellness” is written by RN and freelance health writer Lisa M. Bonaquisti. She is an advocate for healthy lifestyles regardless of occupation or hobbies.
Writers are no strangers to sitting. The enveloping comfort of a mesh-backed marshmallow cushion seated chair lures a writer to sit when producing remarkable creatives. Sitting is frequently coupled with snacking, sugary beverages, and uninvited girth expansion. This combination of sitting, snacking, and sipping sugary drinks can interfere with your health and creativity and ultimately impact your writing. Let’s face it: the world needs writers, so the time has come to rewrite your wellness. Adding simple, healthy lifestyle edits to your daily routine may improve mental clarity and increase overall energy. Both of these benefits are imperative to producing invoiceable written works.
Headlines publicize sitting as the new smoking, but what does that really mean? Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are all potential consequences of smoking and, yes, you guessed it – prolonged sitting. You just stood up and started marching in place, right? But wait, there’s more. Depression, weight gain, cognitive dysfunction (aka trouble thinking), and musculoskeletal disorders are also on the impact list. Now that your entire body has been targeted due to physical inactivity let’s address what you eat as you sit.
Your brain requires fuel as you eloquently transcribe words into another bestseller or “must-read” post. To your left and right are plates, bowls, or napkins filled with easily grasped goodies that keep you glued to your writing objective. Maybe the sugar rush or the crunch keeps you engaged, but at what cost to your health? Healthy snacks keep your body’s fuel tank full and your creativity flowing.
Rewriting wellness is not a complex algorithm that will require hours of your day or wipe out your bank account. Healthy lifestyle edits can be accomplished in the comfort of your writing environment and are essentially free. The only cost incurred will be 20–30 minutes of your day and your inner desire to stay out of your doctor’s office or local emergency room. Once established, these healthy habits will become effortless.
4 Healthy Lifestyle Edits
#1 Have a Plan
Writers are accustomed to developing outlines and plans to meet deadlines. Plans enable writers to maintain focus and complete publishable works. Rewriting wellness into your daily routine requires a plan. This plan will be one of your easiest and most rewarding yet non-invoiceable accomplishments.
Rewriting wellness requires you to put your plan in writing. You can manually or electronically plan your wellness edits, but making your daily goals visible is a must. Recording your daily physical activity, water intake, and nutrition goals is essential. Crossing off accomplished goals after a brain-draining day of writing can be mentally satisfying. So, set 45 seconds aside each day to write manageable goals.
#2 Activity Intervals
Sitting is commonly associated with writing activities. This position of comfort for prolonged periods of time can be detrimental to the success of a writer’s health and efficiency. Frequent position changes enhance blood circulation throughout your body. A well-oxygenated body and brain will function more efficiently and contribute to your stellar works of art. You may wonder how often, how much, and what activity intervals will contribute to rewriting wellness.
When you arise from your chair, do you feel the need to yell out “oil me?” What you really need is to move. When you are in the thick of a writing assignment, moving every 45–50 minutes is reasonable. The idea is not to interrupt your train of thought but rather to clear your mind and get you moving. Set your timer, and when you hear, DING, sitting time is up.
Let’s explore a few fun and simple life edits that will add needed movement to your day. Set your timer for 5–10 minutes and try some or some combination of the following; when the timer chimes, resume writing:
- walking (inside or outside or up/downstairs)
- marching in place with arm circles/swings
- riding a stationary bike
- mimicking jumping rope/jumping jacks, even with slight jumping movements
Another option is to play two favorite tunes and shake your booty until the music stops.
Your goal is to feel refreshed, not short of breath after moving. If you have the appropriate amenities, you can vary your times of sitting or standing as you write, but remember to incorporate activity intervals throughout your day. Too much of any one position is not recommended.
#3 Choose Water
Wasted calories on beverages is a common practice. Although the satisfying taste of a cola product or a bougie café purchase is undeniably delicious, the extra sugar is unnecessary, and the nutritional value is zero. One 12-oz cola product contains an average of 39 grams of sugar, and your favorite pumpkin spiced latte can contain 50–55 grams of sugar. Your daily recommended sugar intake is 25–36 grams, yikes! Sure, there are beverages touting no sugar or calories, but they forget to mention added harmful artificial sweeteners and no nutritional value for your hard-working brain.
You are clearly searching for a good comeback to escape the daily regime of consuming H2O, right? Here is a little assistance: water does not have nutritional value either. Water has immense health benefits; with a little twist, the taste can surpass your sugary favorites. Adding a slice of lemon (0.2 grams of sugar) or a ¼ cup of pineapple (4 grams of sugar) to your 32 oz reusable water bottle will ignite your taste buds. Water will also disperse essential nutrients throughout your body while maintaining major organ functions. Clearer skin, less abdominal bloating, and improved sleep are a few reported outcomes of regular water consumption. So whine as you may about consuming water throughout the day, but cutting out sugary nutrition-lacking beverages may be your perfect twist to rewriting wellness.
#4 Healthy Snacks
Food is fuel for your body. A fully powered brain will undoubtedly contribute to stellar writing. Food quality is equally important as the quantity of activity intervals. While rewriting wellness, snack choices should be plant-based when possible. If your choices have you pouring from a bag, fewer ingredients are best, and adhering to the serving size is a must.
Your favorite fruits and vegetables are perfect choices, and a few nuts sprinkled in are nice too. Frozen grapes and blueberries are candy-like delights for your taste buds. Raw vegetables are a good fiber source, promoting a feeling of fullness and decreasing over-eating. Pairing a smidge of dip with these choices may please your palate and convince you to forego the boxed or bagged snacks. To improve your likelihood of eating healthy snacks, cut up fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week. Then, create your own refrigerated grab-and-go snack bowl for efficiency.
An occasional treat is perfectly acceptable when you follow a couple of key tips. First, stick to the serving size; five crackers means five or a ¼ cup of nuts is what you get. Savor each morsel as if it is a novelty. Second, if you can properly pronounce and define all snack ingredients without consulting a dictionary, then rock on and enjoy your snack. The second tip is a serious consideration, as many of those indecipherable letter collections (aka words) are as natural as AI would have been writing this post.
Rewriting wellness entails simple, healthy edits that can improve your well-being without leaving you out of breath or gnawing on your fist. Following a self-created plan will undoubtedly lead you down the path of success. Your phone timer is a trusted resource and reminder of your need to engage in physical activity throughout the day. A decorative reusable water bottle (or bottles, as often occurs) will become your new BFF with health benefits. Soon, your enticing snack bowls may serve as a social media topic or image for your next post. The possibilities are endless, and the rewards will be noticeable in your health and, more importantly, in your writing. Stick to your plan!
Sample Written Plan* (when starting out)
Goal for today:
- 4x: 50 minutes writing, 5-minute walk outside (tip: set timer for 2.5 minutes, start walking when it goes off return home)
- 16 oz water with extra ice and lemon slice
- Sitting Snacks: ½ cucumber (sliced), two tablespoons of hummus, ¼ cup of almonds, 1 cup of strawberries
Sample Written Plan (as you advance)
Goal for an 8-hour day:
- 4x 50 minutes writing, 5 minutes jacks, no jumping (move 1 foot at a time), five wall push-ups, 50 marching steps in place
- 2x 50 minutes writing, 5 minutes moving to music
- 2x 50 minutes writing, 10-minute walk outside
- 18-24 oz of water with orange slice
- Sitting Snacks: ½ red pepper (sliced), cucumber (sliced), carrot (sticks), 1 cup of blueberries with homemade fruit dip, ¼ cup of walnuts
*Engaging in physical activity may require a physician’s approval. (but do not use this as an excuse). If you have a medical condition that limits your water intake, please follow your restrictions as medically advised. Do not consume any food products for which you have a known or suspected allergy.
Lisa M. Bonacquisti is an RN, freelance health content writer, and health enthusiast. Lisa’s writing content is driven by years of personal and professional experience and research. In her 30 years of nursing, she has seen the impact poor lifestyle choices have on one’s quality of life. Her writings are purposed to inspire and encourage healthy living, while her actions portray healthy living. She does occasionally enjoy sitting, but usually on a beach!