I remember a point in my life where I thought, “Well, if I’m going to earn minimum wage, I may as well sit down while I’m doing it.” I was clerking in a store at the time, trying to look perky in high heels that were slowly devouring my flesh from the soles on up. There’s nothing like pain to motivate the search for a new job, and I landed something in an office relatively quickly.

Right now I’m having the reverse problem. I work at a desk all day and then write in the evenings. Trying to shoehorn in some healthy exercise has become a feat of scheduling prowess. Taking an hour to hit the gym means something else doesn’t get done, so it’s often the hottest fire that wins out.

Who knew sitting down all day was such hard work. However, I’ve tried to come up with alternative sources of physical activity:

1. The mega mug bicep flex. This should be done with a lidded travel mug to avoid spills. Works well with drive-through XXXXLL sized coffee. Alternate hands for even muscle development.

2. The virtual sprint. Primarily for small muscle groups in the arms, this exercise is a natural when logging into sites promising a) an exciting promotional opportunity or b) somebody somewhere is taking submissions for something.

3. The forty-yard head bash. Useful when reviewing editorial comments or on-line reviews.

4. Therapeutic shrieking. Good for heart and lungs and also versatile! Can be used equally well when presented with a) a contest final or b) one more piece of bad news on the publishing economy.

5. Xtreme wall climb. There are endless occasions for this activity, but I find it works best on a sunny afternoon when there is nothing but a deadline blotting out blue skies.

6. The last-five-chapters marathon. Feel the burn, baby.

I’m happy to have been able to share these writing fitness tips. Please pass these on, share yours, and enjoy the healthy lifestyle they represent.