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The Secrets to Exercising for Creatives

people putting hands together

Most people find excuses to not exercise. We need to find excuses to exercise. Since we’re creative, we can do it. Put your creativity to work for you and get your health in the right place so you can create more, create longer, and create better.

Make Time

Like your creative activities, you have to make time to exercise. If you think you don’t have time, you will never have time. There are so many responsibilities pulling you in so many directions; it’s easy to ignore exercise even as your health deteriorates. Set aside 30 minutes every day to do something good for you, your life, and your craft.

Find a Partner

One of the best things you can do is find a partner who is able to motivate you to exercise. External motivation may not be the best motivation, but if it gets you started and drags you through those times when you’d rather be working on the computer, then take it. We all have family members or friends we need to spend time with. If it’s your children, find activities that encourage movement together. Your significant other could also be motivating. A good friend might do the trick to. If you know you need to spend time with someone choose events and activities that will encourage both of you to be healthy.

Find a Reason

Use your creative works to help improve your mindset toward exercise. If you’re a writer, this can be as easy as really wanting to know what basic training is like, or trying to describe fighting styles, or just harnessing the feelings involved in a certain activity that corresponds to your writing’s settings. It’s hard to write about the woods if you’ve never been in them.

Find an Exercise You Like

You can choose any exercise in the world. There will be people in your area that engage in the activity, and they are probably looking for others to join them.

  • Kickball: Adult kickball leagues range from competitive to beer. This was one of the most fun activities I engaged in when I lived in Alaska.
  • Basketball: I started playing basketball in Germany and continued through college and into my mid-thirties. At 5’ 4” with a bad knee, I’m not your typical player, but I enjoyed it.
  • Disc Golf or Frisbee Golf: Frisbee golf is easy. You just need to get a frisbee and find something to throw it at. In college, we used light posts and trees as our goals. Disc golf is a little more serious with courses and specialized throwing discs.
  • Fencing: Swords? Yes, please.
  • Geocaching: Hiking with a destination. High-tech treasure hunting. Get your GPS and get out to find something or just sign your name.
  • Tai Chi: It’s a martial art. It’s slow. It’s easy to motivate me to do Tai Chi.
  • Instinctive Archery: Breathing, stance, and getting in touch with your inner self are all part of the experience. Plus, over the course of an hour, you’ll pull a lot of weight, even with a light bow.
  • Yoga: For me, yoga isn’t that exciting, but it’s something my wife loves. Then I found Cosmic Kids Yoga: storytelling inspired by Disney, Star Wars and more with yoga moves. They make yoga fun.
  • Ballroom and Swing Dancing: Find a group and go. If you’re alone and you’re a guy, don’t worry; there are usually a lot of women willing to dance with a partner they don’t know. Of course, women also dance with each other when no guys are present. Either way, dancing is a good way to work up a sweat. Swing and ballroom dancing just help you look cool doing it.
  • Children’s games: Just because you’re grown up doesn’t mean you can’t play like children do.

When you choose an activity, give it two or three weeks and go at least three times each week. You won’t be good the first couple of times. That’s okay. You’re not supposed to be good at anything the first time. Don’t just do exercise on the weekends. That’s a good way to get injured more easily. Of course, you can always choose more than one activity and you might have your own. It took a couple of weeks before I came up with the idea for looking for videos on Disney Yoga. If you have suggestions for motivating and fun exercises, put them in the comments.

Realize the Benefits

If you know the benefits of exercise and keep them in the forefront of your mind, you’re less likely to skip them. If you want to live longer, better and be healthier, so you can create more and create better while being a part of your friends’ and family’s lives, exercise should be on your list of daily activities.

Have Health Insurance

My lack of health insurance stopped me from playing basketball. I can’t afford to break a leg, blow out a knee or rupture an Achille’s tendon. Having health insurance removes that excuse. It allows you to continue to get the long-term benefits of exercising while mitigating the fear of what could happen if something were to go wrong. I could get hurt walking down the street or going down the stairs, but removing basketball from my exercise regime also limited the possibility of experiencing a catastrophic injury. (And removed one of the places where I was able to socialize.)

Get a Dog

If you’re lucky enough to have space for a pet and live somewhere you can have one, get a medium sized or larger dog, even if you’re more of a cat person. Dogs require you to walk them and play with them. If you take care of your dog in the right way, you’ll also be taking care of yourself. Just be sure that you understand what kind of commitment your making, then go for a walk with your dog for your health.

As always, consult with a physician before you start a new exercise program. If you’re not convinced as to the benefits of exercise, yet, check out “The Secrets to Creativity: Exercise.” For more on creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity: 25 Tips for Becoming More Creative.” Get “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories: Improving Your Creativity for a Better Life and World.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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Winter Safety in Alaska: Don’t Make a Second Mistake

Alaska winter

When I first moved to Alaska, it was summer, and summers in Alaska are glorious – absolutely beautiful. However, I was warned. Winter is coming. If you want to survive Alaska and remain a resident for longer than a season or two, you need to find an activity that you can do during the winter months. This meant not only having the right clothing to go outside, but having the right clothing that would be good for staying outside for prolonged periods. The other important piece of information I was given about living in Alaska is that it usually isn’t the first mistake that kills you; it’s the mistakes that follow through poor decision making.

There are a lot of winter activities that people can engage in: skiing, cross country skiing, skijoring, snowshoeing, ice skating, and more. Trekking through the winter wonderland that Alaska becomes is amazing in its own right, as long as you can stay warm. Fortunately, I had a friend who introduced me to geocaching.

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt. Geocachers hide ammo cans or Tupperware, mark the coordinates and publish those at geocaching.com. Other cachers seek those boxes. They sign the log book, trade items, and enjoy the wonderful outdoors.

My friend and I had one rule about winter geocaching. If the temperature was lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit, we stayed at home. Living in Anchorage the weather was relatively temperate, so those 10-degree days were fewer and farther between than some places inland.

One Saturday, early in winter, the temperature pushed up to 10 degrees, and we got our gear together. We chose our destination, got our warm clothes on and headed out to the car. I wore plastic pants to keep melting snow from making my pants wet. They had buttons so that I could reach into my pants pockets if I had to.

We went into the park hiked around and came to a stream. It wasn’t completely frozen over. There was ice on top, but the stream moved beneath. We could walk to the bridge, but it was far away and I was cold. More importantly, the arrow pointed right across the stream. I convinced my friend that we could cross using the branch that hung below the water. It would just be a short jump. He made it. I didn’t.

I fell through the ice. The stream ran into my plastic pants and into my shoes. I had wool on, so I thought I should be okay. My friend knew better. With the cache just feet away, I thought we should go get it. He said no. We were going to go get a pizza and go home. It wouldn’t look good for a director of health and safety (my job title at the time) to get hypothermia or frostbite because he was too dumb not to make the second mistake.

He was right. Getting wet wasn’t really an immediate issue. Staying out there would’ve created a bigger problem. So, we went back home. I took a warm shower and changed into dry clothes and then we ate pizza. Geocaching was one of two activities that I engaged in to make it through the winter. Subscribe to this blog and don’t miss when I post about the next one.

In Alaska, you may have to know how to protect yourself against long, dark winters and cold weather, but you do not have to know how to protect yourself against penguins, because there are no penguins in Alaska. I know because I wrote the book. Preorder the eBook on Amazon or preorder a hard copy coloring book here at penguinate.com.