Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

—Edward Stanley

You’ve heard it said a million times. By now you might be sick of hearing it. Physical exercise is a powerful remedy for stress relief, clear-mindedness, and productivity. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know how important it is for us writers after long stretches of sitting.

Raise your hand if the first thing you reach for after a long writing jag is a glass of wine, chocolate, or a cigarette. I thought so. Then you probably wiggle your body deeper into the sofa, thinking, “The last thing I want to do is exercise.” Right?

But would you put on your sweats if I told you that scientists have found the fountain of youth—that exercise could add ten years to your life? Regular exercise, they say, changes the molecular and cellular building blocks and slows aging cells. One year of exercise gives a seventy-year-old writer the brain connectivity of a thirty-year-old scribe, improving memory and the ability to plan, deal with ambiguity, and multitask.

So which is it: Plopping into your La-Z-Boy or hopping on the treadmill? If you’ve been looking for the fountain of youth, you won’t find it in a chill pill or cosmetic surgery. It’s contained in your Stairmaster, swimsuit, or dancing shoes.

Today’s Takeaway

Make exercise the first medicine you reach for before or after long writing hours, go to the gym, or take a walk for your happy hour.

Excerpt from Daily Writing Resilience by Bryan E. Robinson, PhD, with permission from the author and publisher.

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  • Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Journalist, psychotherapist, and Author of 40 books.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D.

    Bryan Robinson, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, psychotherapist in private practice, and award-winning author of two novels and 40 nonfiction books that have been translated into 15 languages. His latest books are CHAINED TO THE DESK IN A HYBRID WORLD: A GUIDE TO WORK-LIFE BALANCE (New York University Press, 2023)#CHILL: TURN OFF YOUR JOB AND TURN ON YOUR LIFE (William Morrow, 2019), DAILY WRITING RESILIENCE: 365 MEDITATIONS & INSPIRATIONS FOR WRITERS (Llewellyn Worldwide, 2018). He is a regular contributor to, Psychology Today, and Thrive Global. He has appeared on 20/20, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, ABC's World News Tonight, NPR’s Marketplace, NBC Nightly News and he hosted the PBS documentary "Overdoing It: How To Slow Down And Take Care Of Yourself." website: