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Say Bye-bye to Blogger Body, and Hello to Better Health

This guest post is by Tania Dakka of TaniaDakka.com.

Awesome! You just finished that killer project you’ve been working so hard on all day! Congratulations!

But then you get up.

Ouch.

Your back’s killing you. Your body’s stiff. And you feel the pangs of a headache kicking in. That puffed chest is starting to deflate a little, isn’t it?

That’s Blogger Body.

Not managing the Achievement Addict disease that causes Blogger Body will eventually affect your production levels and quality. You’re wired to push yourself, so you push hard. Harder than you would push anyone else, because you think that’s the only way you can achieve your best.

That thinking isn’t flawed—it just needs a little tweaking.

You’re not alone

As bloggers, we love to get things done. We’re experts at hyper-focusing. And it feels good—really good—when we write master content we know rocks our readers’ worlds—even if it means hours on hours in the chair bent over our keyboards, drinking pots of coffee, and eating whatever we can get our hands on.

But, you’re bound to hit the wall sooner or later. The aching in your back that’s screaming louder than your three-year-old will become a relentless signal that can’t be ignored.

You have to take care of yourself—or your content will suffer.

You can do it

You can take breaks, and take care of yourself, and still produce great content—as a matter of fact, you’ll actually produce more of it! (Hey, look at that! A way to make more and greater stuff! Didn’t you just get goosebumps?)

Don’t think, “I can’t stop until I’ve finished.” Think, “These breaks are going to make this piece rock!”

A healthy body is your foundation for a clear and powerful mind that produces and creates. Here’s the deal. If you want them to give you more, you’ve got to give them more.

And with the right foods and an easy workout plan, you’ll be the unstoppable blogger you’ve always strived to be, writing posts that everyone wants to read.

5 Steps to your a better body and blog

1. Get back to nature

The optimal diet for a blogger’s brain/body boost is one rich in natural foods. What’s on the blogger’s “Yes” Foods List? Anything from the ground, or that has a mama—or any combo thereof.

Action: Start by adding in whole foods to each meal. The more you add, the less room you’ll have for “No” Foods.

2. Hydrate often

Waiting until you’re thirsty means your brain is already suffering. And, bloggers, what can a dry brain do for you? The rule used to be eight 8oz glasses of water a day, but it’s not enough. Guys: You need 13 cups a day. And girls: You need at least nine.

Action: Put a rubber band around your glass every time you finish a glass of water, to keep track of how much you’ve had to drink (um, this only works if you use the same glass all day). Strive to collect between nine and 13 rubber bands before bed.

3. Limit focus time to an hour and a half

Sitting for hours with no break leaves your eye glassy and thoughts befuddled. The maximum chunk of time you should lend to a project is an hour and a half. Then, take a five- to 15-minute break. You’ll refresh your mind and reinvigorate your drive.

Action: Set your timer and force yourself up when it goes off. If you’re worried about losing focus, write down your thoughts at the time of the bell and come back after step 4 to pick up exactly where you left off. This downloadable worksheet should help.

4. Work out

Yes, I said it. Don’t roll your eyes at me. It doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be done.

Action: When the timer rings, stand up and do ten to 15 Burpees. They’re a great whole-body move that, when done right, will pick up that heart rate. But if you find them too difficult, do the easier versions of the pushups for a while. When you can do the 15 of them (with correct form) in under two minutes, switch the challenge up and do three minutes of them at the end of each focus session.

Proper Burpee execution: From a standing position, drop into a push up position (don’t let your midsection droop when you go down—keep your back straight). Then, do your pushup and spring back to a standing position. End it with a jump with your hands raised overhead. Then, drop back into your next Burpee. Here’s a great video by Zuzana Light to show you visual learners how to Burpee the right way:

5. Sleep

This is so hard when you’re gears are turning 24/7 about your next big post, but without rest, you won’t power up so you can push through your blogging and your blog training. Spend five minutes doing a proper wind down before trying to sleep. Meditation or focused breathing are great relaxers for a blogger’s ever-running mind.

Action: Lying on your back in bed, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths. Inhale for a count of four and hold for four counts. Exhale for four counts. Do this until you feel the last of the stress of the day exhale with your breath. Then, let your mind drift off to dream.

Use these five steps to prime your body and mind to create the content your readers beg for and will want to share.

If you can’t do Burpees, what other exercise would you replace them with to get your heart pumping on your break?

Tania Dakka, Fit Freelancer, is dedicated to providing clients with copy that converts and writers the tools they need to survive (and even thrive) where life, fitness, and productivity collide. Sign up and get the help you need at TaniaDakka.com.

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Comments

  1. Liam says:

    I’ve got into the habit of doing 15 squats everytime I go to the toilet. Helps to get the blood flowing in the legs again after hours of sitting down.

    I also find clasping my hands behind my back and squeezing my shoulder blades together helps to relive the stress in my shoulders and will hopefully prevent me from becoming a hunchback.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      I love these ideas, Liam! You’re so right! Squats are amazing for keeping the blood flowing! Zuzana (the woman in the vid) did a challenge similar – only they were pistols- every time you’d go to the toilet you’d do x number of them. It’s great to have things to switch up your routine! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  2. LOVE these tips! As an avid blogger/web writer, and fitness enthusiast I think you hit it spot on with all 5 points. Especially with the burpees (“buck furpees” as they say in the world of Crossfit).

    I’d also add one more and that is to stand up and type if possible. There are many desks that elevate to make this possible (even some with a slow paced treadmill so you can walk and type at the same time). Standing takes the strain off your back and burns 3 times the amount of calories than sitting.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Awesome, Kimberly! I LOVE standing and working. I’m so much more productive that way! LOL Didn’t know about the Crossfit name for burpees! Thanks so much for the share!

  3. S.K. says:

    I’ve been dealing with wrist pains for the last 3 days, hopefully it’s not CTS. Right now I’m trying very hard on limiting time in front of the screen to 1.5-2 hour chunks, and I gotta say it’s quite challenging for a perfectionist prior to a major launch..

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Thanks for commenting, S.K.! Take some time and stretch your wrists each day. Roll them and try to move them a little more. I hope you get some relief! CTS isn’t something ANYbody wants – but especially not a blogger! Feel better soon!

  4. jbunny says:

    This is such great information – blogger body is exatly what happens to my husband. He will get so entranced, that he will sit at his computer sometimes for 8 straight hours without getting up. It’s insane! Great tips!

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Thanks for commenting, jbunny! We all get soooo involved with our work that it can be insane. That’s why we need tips that are fast and effective! Hope your hubby can use this info to help me fine tune his focus time!

  5. JohnnyFit says:

    Thanks, I find that reading about fitness, and following along to fitness related blogs helps to keep me motivated!

    • Elizabeth says:

      Great idea about keeping track of hydration, and now I know what a Burpee is I will try it! I sit on an exercise ball while at my desk. It makes me sit up straight, and helps to keep my core muscles strong, so I don’t get backache.

      • Tania Dakka says:

        Exercise balls are AWESOME! Glad you’re putting one to use! I fully intend to get back on mine one day! (The kids keep stealing it!) Thanks for the great reminder!

  6. Joe Karl says:

    Yea I have to learn to switch my pc off at a reasonable hour. Turning it off at 3am when I have to get up at 7 can be harsh on my body, especially when I have a full day of changing nappy’s ahead :( Also to much time on the pc has really affected my posture.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Really put yourself first, Joe! It’ll make all the difference in the world when it comes to productivity for you! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you can correct what’s starting to happen!

  7. Hi Tania,

    1 hour of walking daily and breaks every 30 minutes. Minimum. I also cut my workdays down quite a bit too.

    How you feel means everything. This is why I used to slave 18 hours a day, moving into stress-filled, ineffective acts, and of course my results sucked.

    Then I took better care of my body. Felt better. Attracted better results. Amazing how it works.

    I also cut out meat almost entirely, eating it a few times a month. Tons of veggies, fruits and healthy fats and carbs, each day. You must take care of your body if you expect to succeed in this game, because if your health is poor you can’t possibly become successful.

    You can have wealth, even fame, but if your house (aka – body) is in terrible or poor shape, you can’t enjoy the experience. I was a former workout buff but even me, Mr. Exercise, felt the crunch of working online and abandoned my ways for a bit.

    Now, it’s short walks every 30 minutes, tons of meditation and at least 1 hour of sustained walking daily. No other way to attack the day.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Tania!

    Ryan

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Thanks for the meditation reminder, Ryan! That alone can REALLY help you focus your intention and get you on the right track! Awesome share! Thanks for commenting:)!

  8. Tania Dakka says:

    That is so true, Johnny! Thanks for adding that point! When I look at all the fitness feeds in my Twitter stream and on my Zite, you’d think that would have come to mind LOL Thanks for reading and commenting:)

  9. We have three Australian Cattle Dog mix pups and they require daily walks. I recently changed my schedule to include 4 mile bike rides 3x a week, daily walks with the dogs, and longer walks on the weekend. Rain or shine, this is happening. Sometimes I swap out the bike rides for the elliptical.

    It’s amazing how doing this clears my mind, relieves stress, and allows me to be more creative. It’s fantastic and if I have an off week, I can feel the difference.

    Thanks for the great tips!

    Kimberly

    • Tania Dakka says:

      AWESOME, Kimberly! Keep up the great work! Thanks for sharing what helps you succeed – that’s what we all need to hear!

  10. Awesome tips, I was really wondering for such great health tips. Thanks.

  11. Blogzpoint says:

    Every Blogger must follow these tips

  12. I can’t really disagree. When I’m too focused on a blog post I’m often out of shape. In fact, it’s hard for me to be on my top form and be productive for more than 4 hours a day (I guess the 9-to-5 workday isn’t for me). Staying healthy when all you want to do is be productive and get things done isn’t easy; it’s the civil war between your mind and your body.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Great point, Andrew! One thing to help win that war is to put in your mind that fitness IS productive. Make it a part of your business plan. You know? You’re not going to skip marketing? Don’t skip building your business foundation (aka your body)! Thanks for pointing that out and I hope we can all win the war eventually!

  13. Angie says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s so true that as bloggers we like to get things done and check things off our lists… keeping our bodies healthy should be no different. Great reminder, thanks!

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Thanks for commenting, Angie! I can tell you relate to the focus issue. Like we are driven to check things off…hopefully we can add fitness to that list to check off! :D

  14. Brandon G. says:

    Very interesting idea for a post here. I’m a health and wellness blogger – I’m kind of mad at myself for not thinking of this myself! You’re so right. Sometimes we need to step away from our computers and just move around. I’m as guilty as anyway for spending hours at my screen with slouched posture even though I know the difference.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      LOL Sorry Brandon! I’m sure you can come up with an awesome twist! Thanks for commenting! (And PLEASE take care of your posture!) :)

  15. Mike says:

    1 tip that should be added to this list is better preperation for the following weeks meal plan. You HAVE to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

    Your not going to feel better eating food in boxes, wrapers or cans. Like Tania reccomends, EAT REAL FOOD! Lol.

    We’ve been persuaded to eat a certain way our entire lives and it really shows. Fat & Lazy America FTW. Good health starts in the Gut and believe it or not the Standard American Diet reccomended by the USDA is a disater path in regards to gut permeability.

    Can’t reccomend enough Robb Wolf’s book “The Paleo Solution” for someone looking to improve there overall health.

    • Tania Dakka says:

      Stick around, Mike! I’ve got LOADS more where this came from! Weekly Scheduler (which, btw, includes a row for menu planning and even LAUNDRY!) LOL Planning is absolutely essential for food – otherwise you’ll eat whatever you can put your hands on. And if done right, you can even cook ahead! Thanks for adding your great point!

  16. Sinea Pies says:

    I was getting tired just looking at the Burpees. LOL. Definitely need to get there but I may have to start with 5! :) This whole post is great advice and I plan to take action on it. I use my timer for so many things. Exercise breaks will now be added to it!

    • Tania Dakka says:

      That’s great, Sinea! I’m so glad to hear it! Starting this week, I’ll be resuming the Fit Breaks & Hydration Breaks through my Facebook and Twitter accounts – feel free to follow along with them! So glad this piece is useful to you! Thanks for commenting:)

  17. If you’re a full-time blogger, I’ve found it very useful to have a routine, eg “go for a 30minute walk at 10am”. This way you don’t skip your exercise and you don’t need to convince yourself to do it, since it becomes a daily habit. Of course, if you blog about fitness, you tend to be more aware about getting enough exercise ;)

    One new trick I’ve learn is to do some yoga. Poses like downward facing dog, when done properly, can help relieve stress in wrists&fingers that comes about from typing all day!

  18. Dion Lynk says:

    My back is killing me! I’m vowing to exercise more going forward as the hours of pounding the pavement (and my spinal cord) has brought auto pilot like results to my freelancing business. I can stand to pull away and do a couple of squats, sit ups or push ups. Gotta step my fitness game up now. Jeez, Where does the pursuits of obtaining stuff end?

  19. Liane C says:

    I design a lot (rather than blog) but I guess the amount of computer time I spend is still the same as serious bloggers. One rule of thumb is to just stand every 30 minutes or so. It’s pretty simple but I’ve read that it works great at making sure that your blood circulates well (and to reduce backstrain). When it comes to the eyes though, a 15 minute break every hour can aid eye stress. Or just to look at a vague distance. That’s how to relax the eyes :)

    Hope that helps! And great advice btw!

  20. Ivaylo says:

    I’m big fan to your blog and i think your posts are very helpful. Thanks for sharing

  21. GjiVan says:

    Well, exercise or workouts, balanced and nutritional diet and water are inevitable parts of our life. As being a blogger, we are not going to spend 24/7 on chair without turning our head back. We blog means we are in the process of creating a nice business model for generating prOfits in the long run. So we work hard in initial stage do we don’t need to work much when the blog will take its pace.. Balanced diet, water and excercises increases the blood circulation to brain too. So, taking an interval of 5-10 minutes after 30 minutes of working on computer. This will not only refresh you but also boost the creativity for ur post’n

  22. Glynis Jolly says:

    I’m going to try that breathing technique for bedtime. Maybe it will relax my muscles in my legs.

    I already do the first 4 steps/actions. When I firsted this serious blogging, I would be at it for 3 to 4 hours at a time. Since then I’ve learned to get up and do something else for a short time. It helps the body and the mind.