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  • J. Michael Squatrito, Jr.

The Benefits of Exercise


Those people who know me know that I'm very active in fitness and exercise. I might be a little more active than the average 56 year-old since I still play baseball (I'm a knuckleball pitcher, remember?), take Vinyasa yoga classes once or twice a week, run 4 to 5 miles two to three times a week, and do cardio weight training twice a week. Yeah, it's a lot but the benefits are incredible. Aside from keeping my weight down and sleeping very well, the increased blood flow to my brain gives me the extra push I need to get the creative juices flowing. If not for exercise, I would not be a writer. To me they go hand in hand.

How can that be, you might ask?

You know the feeling you get when you can't write because you have to do something else? Or you're kind of stuck in your story and not sure what direction to go? I say I put things on the "backburner" and let my subconscious churn while I attend to other tasks. However, when I'm exercising my subconscious goes into overdrive. I can't tell you how many times I resolved story conflicts or new ideas popped into my mind while I was grinding out a long run. Or scenes that flash into my mind while I perform cleansing breaths during yoga sessions. The best part is that after these revelations appear, I now have something to work with and can move my story forward. Don't get me wrong, I have times when writer's block stops me cold and no amount of exercise can get me over the hump but those episodes are few and far between.

How about you? Does exercise help with your writing? If you haven't tried it, maybe now's the time to set up an exercise routine and hopefully you can reap the rewards like I do. The worst case scenario is that your body will thank you for your new activity and you'll begin to feel better health-wise. The best thing would be to finish that novel. Either way, adding exercise to your daily routine will help your overall physical health and that is a very good thing indeed!

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