The 7 Best Exercises for Lazy Writers

New Year, new you. This motto has been flying around social media for the past week or so, and since it’s New Year’s Day, I trust most of you are trying to pin down some resolutions that make sense, yes?

Guess what the number one annual resolution is?

If you said “to lose weight,” give yourself a cookie! (But only a virtual one if you want to actually lose weight this year.)

As a writer who spends most of her day with her butt planted firmly in an office chair, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that exercise is typically not high on my list of priorities. However, given the fact that sitting down all day apparently takes years off your life, I’ve been trying to figure out how to work in some daily activity that’ll get me moving beyond the worn carpet trail from my desk to my kitchen and back again.

Since you’re probably equally gung-ho to get in on this action, I give you my Top 7 Exercises for Lazy Writers. Put on your peppiest dance remix and let’s feel the burn!

7. Yoga

"yoga" image by Flickr user Lyn Tally

“yoga” image by Flickr user Lyn Tally

I myself hate yoga, but lots of writerly types swear by it. As it involves lots of stretching, focusing on your breathing, and mindfulness, it works best for those who like to take a leisurely approach to life. With minimal equipment required (i.e. a roll-up mat), a shit-ton of free how-to videos, and your closet full of yoga pants that have never been worn to an actual yoga class, you’re good to go – right after you check out this Yoga for Writers infographic. Om.

6. Jumping Rope

If you're doubly cool, you can double dutch. (image by Flickr user John St John)

If you’re doubly cool, you can double dutch. (image by Flickr user John St John)

I bought a jump rope at my local pharmacy for $5. That’s how cheap this activity is. You can jump rope inside or outside, and take the rope with you wherever you go, so there’s no excuse not to do it even if you’re on the road. It’s also super simple: swing the rope, and jump over it. Repeat until tired. According to Fitness magazine, jumping rope for just 10 minutes burns 135 calories, so hop to it!

5. The Prison Workout

Not THAT kind of prison workout, LiLo! ("Lindsay Lohan Prison Workout" image by Flickr user Rob Tom)

Not THAT kind of prison workout, LiLo! (“Lindsay Lohan Prison Workout” image by Flickr user Rob Tom)

The aptly named Prison Workout is designed to be performed within the confines of a prison cell, which means that a) you won’t need any expensive gear, and b) you have absolutely no excuses for not working out, because no matter how small your apartment is, it’s definitely bigger than a prison cell! The idea is to push, pull and lift your own body weight in order to get into top shape, so you’ll be doing pushups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, dips, jumping jacks and – everyone’s favorite – burpees. Although this workout is typically preferred by men (and, indeed, I found an article about it in Men’s Fitness, lauded by none other than Machete himself, Danny Trejo), ladies can also benefit from these straightforward exercises without worrying about “bulking up.”

4. Treadmill Desk

"DIY Treadmill Desk" image by Flickr user Heather

“DIY Treadmill Desk” image by Flickr user Heather

I personally think the treadmill desk is a stupid fad, but for some of my writer pals, this exercise is just the right speed. The main drawback to using a treadmill desk is – you guessed it – procuring a treadmill. Luckily, lots of people tend to get ’em for Christmas and have already gotten pissed off with the damn things by New Year’s, so you can probably find an inexpensive one on Craigslist right about now. If you’ve got a couple thousand bucks burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy a treadmill desk ready-made, but if you’re like most writers, you’ll need to DIY that shit. Here’s how to do it for under $20.

3. Stationary Biking

The only thing cooler than biking is blending up an awesome smoothie WHILE biking. (image via Flickr user Eddy Milfort)

The only thing cooler than biking on the beach is blending up an awesome smoothie at the same time. (image via Flickr user Eddy Milfort)

I love biking, but unfortunately I don’t have a bike in my life right now. So although it’s nowhere near as exhilarating as feeling the wind whipping your face as you careen down a sweet, smooth trail alongside the beach, hitting the stationary bike at my gym does the trick when I want to burn some calories, stat. According to Get-Fit Guy, stationary biking can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,000 calories per hour, depending on the intensity you choose. The only drawback? You’ve gotta get on the upright bike, not that lazy-ass recumbent bike we writers love to use while simultaneously getting some reading done. Bummer!

2. Under-Desk Pedaling

Image via DeskCycle

Image via DeskCycle

Wanna burn calories while you read, write or just plain surf the ‘net? The under-desk exercise bike – aka a recumbent bicycle without the bulk – is the lazy writer’s exercise you want. At $159, the DeskCycle is the most highly recommended (though pricy) version on the market, but if you want to give it a whirl for less, I’ve seen assorted brands available for as little as $30 on Amazon.

1. Walking

Hell, you don't even need to have clothes on to walk... ("Beach walk" image by Flickr user  Nicu Buculei)

Hell, you don’t even need to have clothes on to go for a walk. (“Beach walk” image by Flickr user Nicu Buculei)

“Walking?” You’re saying. Yes, motherfucker, walking. It’s the perfect exercise for the lazy writer. It’s free, it’s easy, you don’t need anything special to do it, you can do it anywhere – even inside your own house, if you’re truly lazy – and unless both of your legs are broken or you’re physically paralyzed, there’s no excuse not to do it. The ideal walking regimen aims for 10,000 steps per day. You can do it all at once, or break it up throughout the day. All you have to do is hit 10k – just like your word count. Hey-o!

In case you need a whole book devoted to the subject of walking 10k steps per day, check out S.J. Scott’s 10,000 Steps Blueprint.


An unusually enlightened sentiment from your friendly neighborhood dollar store (image by Flickr user Simon)

An unusually enlightened sentiment from your friendly neighborhood dollar store (image by Flickr user Simon)

Guys and gals, I write erotica. Obviously sex is my #1 exercise, lazy writer or not! You can get all acrobatic about it, like those Kama Sutra nerds, or you can just get your cardio burn on with a quickie every morning. Start applying those sex toys for a marathon session and you’re burning at least 144 calories per half hour (or so Woman’s Day claims). You know this is what you really wanna do with that newly toned bod of yours in 2015, so why wait? Get back in bed and start huffing and puffing until you blow your lover’s mind.

What’s your favorite lazy writer exercise?

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