It is all about having a balanced lifestyle.
I often blend art tutorials with health and safety advice.
Are your art or writing activities sedentary?
Would you allow a sedentary job to kill you?
Art and writing do not have to be sedentary. You can have a balanced, healthy, slim and creative life. I want to encourage other creative people to maintain their health so they can do their best creative work well into their advanced years.
People who sit at a desk for six hours a day are almost twice as likely to be overweight. I would spend six hours a day in sedentary creative work and thus I know, first hand, the need to ensure that this does not cause health problems and obesity.
I'm still working to balance my love of my creative sedentary jobs, (my creative skills of writing and painting), with fitness training, and now also with concessions for my senior age.
Here are some great tips to stay healthy, and maintain your weight, despite your sedentary job.
Australian researchers found that people sitting at their desks for more than six hours a day are nearly twice as likely to be overweight than those who sit for less than 45 minutes a day. The University of Chicago in 2001 found that a worker in a sedentary career may end up with a Body Mass Index 3.3 units higher than someone in a highly active job.
Blogger-Jogger; Achieving the balance. - Photo above is of the author at age 64, in 2011. Jogging is beyond me these days, but I made my septuagenarian status, and I doubt I'd have got this far if I'd not made an effort toward overcomming the health damaging effects of my creative life.
Here are four tips on how to stay slim despite your predominately sedentary job.
Don't skip meals. It’s easy to forget to eat when you are highly creative or focused on e-mails and editing. But, you need energy. Plan to have delicious, nutritious, portion-controlled, balanced meals with a couple of healthy snacks. Keep sugary drinks and salty meals to a minimum.
Compensate. Get active to compensate for your sedentary work, or find ways to make parts of your job active. Look into a treadmill desk. Reading is a large part of many professional's days, and can easily be done while using a treadmill. Listening to podcasts or dictating is, even more, portable and may be done while walking out of doors.
Adapt your network. I'll always remember the shocked expression of a friend when I suggested that rather than meet for our weekly meal together, that we meet for a stroll along the local riverside walk. Find ways to socialise or celebrate that don't involve food.
Avoid boredom. Lay out healthy snacks. Have a filled fruit bowl between your work space and the fridge. A portion controlled serve of nuts beside you to nibble while working is great, as long as you are aware they are higher calorie than fruit and vegetable snacks. Speaking of vegetables, you can almost eat as many of the lower starch vegetables as you wish without gaining kilos. I make a homemade vegetable soup and reheat in a mug in the microwave. It's easier than eating with a spoon from a bowl for those who want something healthy and filling to eat between meals, while still working at their desk.
A treadmill desk and mugs of vegetable soup are my plans for weight management this winter. I strive to take activity breaks in the garden during fine weather.
A reminder to sedentary workers: Move it or lose it.
Below 3,000 Steps a day and I am at risk of a pulmonary embolism. Move it or lose it—life, it's as important as that.
Fewer than 4,500 Steps: You're very sedentary
4,500-5,500: You're sedentary
5,500 to 7,500:You're headed in the right direction but need to step it up
8,500 and up: You're active, stick with it.
Because these guides are created for fit younger people, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program As a concession to my age and fitness level, I aim for less now that I sought to achieve up until sixty-five. I still set a minimum and an ideal goal and wear an activity monitor in these my septuagenarian years.
Now, for the Drawing Lesson.
Drawing ~ The Correct Drawing Position.
Seat yourself at a table near a window so that the light will come from your left (reverse if you are left handed), this will prevent your right hand casting a shadow on your work.
Arrange your position so that the edge of the drawing board is resting against the edge of the table and the base of the drawing board in your lap.
In this position, you can move your arm and hand freely. Some people prefer to work with the drawing board resting flat on the table, but this is a cramped position that prevents full freedom of movement. Sometimes I use a tilting drawing table and I stand in front of this or wok from a tall drafting stool.
Fasten the drawing paper to the board with drawing tacks, clamps or masking tape. It is a pleasant surface to work on if you place 2 to 3 sheets of paper under the work paper to cushion it. Any clean paper can be uses as padding. This makes a softer surface that accepts the pencil well and prevents any dints or marks appearing in the board, which might then affect further drawings.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Drawing ~ Getting Started, Drawing Paper.
There are many types of paper suitable for pencil drawing. You can use practically any smooth white, buff or grey paper for your practice drawing. The best paper for pencil drawing is smooth with a slight tooth or grain. A paper, which is too smooth, will not take the pencil well – it will skid over the surface. Too rough paper is equally bad, for it breaks up your pencil lines. Acid free, Bond paper and various grades of cold pressed drawing paper are, recommended, for finished drawings. Tracing paper and newspaper are fine for practice sketches and are less expensive.
Be prepared to use up a lot of paper in your practice sessions. I once asked an, experienced artists I was having private tuition with, to show me how to do something. When he showed me, I exclaimed in glee that ‘I now knew how to do that’. He quickly ‘put me in my place’ by telling me that ’40 years of doing that is how you learn to master it’. I went home and every night used up every sheet of the newspaper, practicing the technique over the top of the news advertisements.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Use a soft firm eraser for erasing pencil lines. An eraser, which is too hard, will scratch the paper and ruin it for drawing purposes. Use a very soft art gum or soap eraser for cleaning up the paper. In an emergency if you do not have a rubber in the studio, you can use a piece of fresh (it must be fresh), white bread, as a substitute eraser for cleaning up all smudges and finger marks after finishing a drawing or removing the construction lines in a water colour painting.