Friday, 19 April 2013

I will walk 500 miles

I haven't exercised for ages. I know I should get up earlier; I should take a break in the middle of the day and go for a walk; I should go out running once the kids are in bed - I should do lots of things, but I don't. In recent years my backside has developed into a sort of portable, writer's cushion. 

Neil tries to be helpful and encouraging. He reminds me that exercise has been shown to help low back pain and that walking is good for heart health. He sometimes shows me things like this Telegraph article which discusses the benefits of walking for an hour a day for elderly people or the American Heart Association study which has found walking to be as effective as running (if one expends the same amount of energy). 'Look at this research that shows walking 10,000 steps a day will significantly improve health, build stamina, burn calories and benefit the heart,' he says and I reply, 'that's nice,' and carry on typing and eating Maltesers while sitting on my cushiony behind.

Neil likes to try things. For example, he recently did some research about bare foot running and decided to try it. I went with him (I wore trainers, he went bare foot). I didn't realise people run differently without trainers. If I had to describe it, I'd say they run like Thunderbirds: it was the first time I didn't feel embarrassed for myself on a run, in fact I ran extra fast to try to get away from my scary, puppet-like running partner.  

Neil's latest interest is the treadmill desk. He's been researching them and he's keen to see if they can improve fitness and concentration (via increased oxygen to the brain). 

Can you see where this is going? 

He needed to find someone who sits at a desk all day and doesn't do any exercise at all. And he didn't have to look far.

Guess who's trialing the treadmill desk? 

Neil and I went to Gym World in Oldham this week and had a look at a desk. He was impressed (I was too - it turns out I can type AND walk at the same time) and we're taking delivery of a one next week. I will be blogging about the desk here and over at Neil's blog where I will try to sound sensible and discuss things like statistics and fitness (I probably won't mention my backside). 

In other news I had a lovely review of Sweet Home from writer Dan Powell and I'm really pleased to be on the Thresholds feature writing longlist. 

I'm off now, until next time, when I will be righteously exercising while typing, rather than sitting on the sofa, trying not to drop the hundreds and thousands from my Nobbly Bobbly between the laptop keys. 


  1. Interesting! I think I'd struggle to focus on the screen if the rest of me is moving, but it will be intriguing to see how it affects your creativity - I had some of m best ideas out walking or at the gym. Are they hellishly expensive?

  2. I often find it helps if I get up and have a walk around if I'm stuck with something, so I'm hoping the constant walking will mean fewer 'stuck' moments. As far as I know, treadmill desks start at around £800 and go all the way up to the thousands - I suppose it's cheaper than a long term gym membership!

  3. Great blog post. This will be an exciting trial. Without those 'stuck moments' that novel will be finished in no time at all. Hurray :)

  4. I read a great book about barefoot running, I think it was called 'Running with the Kenyans'. That guy took his whole family out to Kenya for a year so he could learen Properly, that's dedication to research ;-) It inspired me to try it, but I gave up: I'm going for the 'lean in and look at the horizon' aprroach that I saw on a Yahoo blog...