Cardio and the writer

I’m an admitted cardio addict. I usually spend about an hour on my exercise bike each day, in addition to my thrice weekly weightlifting sessions. 

Why? First of all, because I used to be a fat guy. But that’s another story for another time.

Cardio is important for writers. Yes, that’s right, you heard me: Cardio is important for writers.

Nature’s mood drug

Most writers suffer from anxiety and depression. (I am prone to both.) 

Exercise is nature’s mood drug. Forget the crap that the pharmaceutical companies are peddling. You don’t need prozac, Ritalin, and all that crap from Big Pharma. 

And you certainly don’t need cannabis. Don’t get me started on the current (and utterly idiotic) cannabis craze.

Exercise floods your body with serotonin. It’s free! No prescription required! Completely legal in all fifty states! 

And while exercise is addicting, it’s a good form of addiction.

Reading and brainstorming

Time spent on the exercise bike is also a great time to catch up reading. I read whenever I’m on my bike, or on the Stairmaster at the gym.

But what about actually writing? Or preparing to write?

When the weather in southern Ohio is pleasant (and it often isn’t pleasant), I sometimes go for walks. 

I find walking to be conducive to brainstorming. If an aspect of a story is puzzling me, I can usually work it out during a walk. 

I’m not alone in this regard, by the way—Charles Dickens famously walked as many as twenty miles a day. He plotted his stories in his head during these long peregrinations.

Dickens also suffered from insomnia. It wasn’t uncommon for him to go walking at two o’clock in the morning.

If you’re a writer, then exercise should be a regular part of your routine. Especially cardio. And Charles Dickens, no less, would agree with me.