Fitness is vitally necessary for everyone, especially for those who work with their heads. When you sit at a computer for hours on end, forgetting about eating or taking a walk, you deplete your body fundamentally: you start to have trouble with your stomach, your back, your eyes.Nature embedded in us a need for physical activity, and you can’t fool nature: a sedentary way of life inevitably leads to health problems.
Where to begin? Of course, with the simplest thing of all: fifteen minutes of morning exercises and a thirty-minute walk after supper. Our forebears were wise when they said, “After dinner sleep a while, after supper walk a mile.” Incidentally, the advice to take a nap after a noon-time dinner is good, too: after you eat, the blood floods into the digestive tract to begin the process of digestion. If you hurry after dinner to sit down to work, neither your guts nor your head will benefit: both will be short-changed. As a result, fat will accumulate on your hips and belly, and in your head there will only be lazy stirrings instead of brilliant thoughts.
But let’s get back to your evening constitutional. Walking is more natural to us than sitting. When walking actively, the body works at full power, obeying a natural rhythm. And when we synchronize ourselves with Nature’s “metronome,” we attune ourselves to a healthy way of being. For real improvement of our general health, regularity of health-promoting rituals—exercises and walks—is very important. Then you need to move from a small goal to a larger one; that’s the secret to success. Today you’ve done five push-ups, and tomorrow, and so on until five seems very easy. You’ve increased the number of repeats, and again until it feels easy. The idea is to increase the load gradually. Small steps will make fitness an essential component of your way of life. And, we would note: of a healthy one.
Engaging in any kind of physical activity disciplines people, making them diligent. After all, you’ll have to go to bed and get up at regular times and stick to your eating regimen and fitness exercises. You set the necessary rhythm and habituate yourself to follow the plan. That pattern easily carries over to all other aspects of your life, including creative output. You become more responsible, don’t miss deadlines, and find time for self-development.
One more important advantage of an active way of life is that it gives you confidence in yourself and your strengths. Doing exercises and taking your constitutional regularly, you’ll begin achieving results, even if they’re modest at first. The first week you took thirty-minute walks, the next week forty-five, and later even an hour spent in motion will fly past unnoticed. However, even small gains will make you more self-confident. You’ll realize that you’re capable of far more than you’d thought. In time you‘ll be more decisive in taking on difficult but engrossing projects, and exactly the same way as with fitness, you’ll achieve results. And procrastination will no longer be a way of life.
You won’t even realize how without any strain at all you’ve succeeded in losing extra weight and improving your general physical and mental state: at some moment you’ll realize you feel at ease, nimble, buoyant, and living an enjoyable life.
And, finally, a reasonable, regular physical load will help you increase your concentration and working capacity during periods of mental labor. Do you know what Sigmund Freud, Peter Tchaikovsky, Thomas Mann, Ludwig Beethoven, Victor Hugo, Charles Darwin, Immanuel Kant, John Milton, and Charles Dickens had in common? Besides the fact that they were all extraordinarily talented people, they were united by a love for walking. Despite their tight schedules, they set aside time specially for a walk, because the brain, out in the fresh air, saturated with oxygen and balanced by the rhythm of walking, begins thinking better and generating new ideas, creative ones. Your own experience will convince you of that fact as soon as taking a constitutional becomes a habit.