Before I start, let me confess that I'm not an exercise addict. (I can hear my friends chortling right now at the thought!) My idea of the perfect exercise is flipping the next page over in a terrific book, perhaps while reaching occasionally for a nice cool drink!
However, my sedentary lifestyle is catching up with me. I spend long hours in front of a computer these days and it's convinced me of the need to keep moving, making the blood pump harder and using those slack muscles more. Otherwise I fear I'll turn into a stiff, hunchbacked writer who can barely straighten from her office chair.
Besides, I find that fresh air and a bit of activity make me feel better, readier for writing and full of renewed enthusiasm. Also, there are times when a walk gives me time to focus on a story idea and provides a brand new twist or emotional dimension to the plot I thought I'd already worked out.
Sometimes my exercise is restricted to pottering in the garden (which sounds so nice when in actual fact it's a bit of a jungle right now. Everything's got out of hand so much I could actually have a man eating tiger or two out there and not know it - so you can guess this is not a picture of me in my yard). Taking the dog for a walk is good too - it blows the cobwebs away and if I'm lucky it means my old pooch is too tired afterwards to bark at possums in the middle of the night.
I'm not into competitive team sports any more, though a few of my friends are and I can see the allure of getting together with mates for an invigorating game of tennis or football or whatever. Thinking of team sports I decided to add a photo of a cricketer, symbolic in many ways of summer sports here in Australia. Though why you'd want to stand in the blazing heat of a cricket pitch all day... (ahem). In midsummer I prefer to watch others play sport.
I belong to a gym and when I'm in the habit of going regularly, it's fantastic. I can feel the increased energy levels and I move better (no I don't mean I sashay elegantly, but that all the moving parts work more easily!). Swimming's fun but these days I tend to spend a fair bit of time lolling rather than doing laps. I like bushwalking and have been known to enjoy a long stroll by the coast or in the mountains. Running just seems like too much effort. I have a friend who swears by dancing, and particularly the tango as a way of keeping fit and enjoying herself. Another very energetic person I know runs triathlons and yet another prefers Tai Chi for a bit of disciplined but gentle exercise.
How about you? What do you do to get the blood pumping? Are you a sports enthusiast or do you prefer something a little laid back? If you're not so mobile these days, what are your preferred activities now?
To help get the discussion started, I'll give away a copy of my current UK release PASSION, PURITY AND THE PRINCE to someone who comments. Actually, my bookworm heroine, Tamsin, does have a fave sport, and her hero, Alaric, is into all sorts of extreme sports. Maybe I'm making them do all the exercise I never get around to! Visit my website to read an excerpt of their story, which is available from Mills and Boon, The Book Depository (with free postage) and UK Amazon.