Debby Weighs In Banner

Is it just me, or have some of you found that the active life and quilting do not co-exist peacefully? 

I want to be an art quilter. That takes time. It requires long periods of sitting, thinking, dreaming, sketching, and finally sewing. Moving from the sewing machine to the ironing board is not mentioned on the American Heart Association's list of recommended exercise. And after a while, sitting for long periods of time is actually not very comfortable. 

On the other hand, I want to be healthy. Regular exercise is a very important part of good health. And exercise takes time too! Somehow I've got to figure out how to intermingle these two disparate parts of my life into one healthy balanced life.

Here are a few things that have worked for me in the past few months.

Functional exercise! Gardening and quilting seem to go together quite often. If you have a lot of work to do in the garden, not only will it nourish your soul and your creativity, quite often it will give you a very good workout for the day. 

When I am working consistently on a single quilt project, many times I will come to a point where I no longer even like it! Or, I will just be stumped as to which way to go next. That's the time to grab the dog and head out for a short walk. Oftentimes, I will walk back into the house and see my work with fresh eyes, and know exactly what the next step is.

If I've had a good day of quilting, sometimes I am ready to quit for the day by 2pm. That's when I head down to the gym for some work on the weight machines, the bike, or a swim in the pool.  

Another thing I have been doing (to increase my aerobic workout and also to decrease my total exercise time,) is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training.) Basically, I walk as fast as I can for 100 paces, and then walk normally for 20 steps. I repeat this 8 to 10 times, and end my walk with a nice stroll. There is a lot of evidence that this type of exercise can raise your metabolic rate and give you a more effective workout in a shorter period of time (more time to quilt!!)

Debby Schnabel Exercising


What if you are injured? Or old? Or out of shape? Check, check, and check. Been there, done that. I wrote about it here--You Can Always Do Something!

Exercise is going to take time. There's no two ways about it. But changing my intention and attitude about it will go far in helping me to incorporate it into my life without resenting the time it takes. And eventually, I came to realize that I did love exercise.

#6 Doreen 2017-02-17 05:57
My ironing board is in the basement! I also take a couple walks up and down the hall before sitting back down to sew. Don't forget about bending over to pick up stray pins or dropped scissors. Sometimes when I'm standing, I just move my hips side to side.
#5 Denjim 2017-02-16 11:22
Raise your sewing station/table to a standing work height.
#4 clairequilty 2017-02-15 21:01
This sure has come at a timely moment for me. Thank you. And thanks to the lady who asked how to press the seam allowances, which I failed thru various viewings to notice. :P
#3 Kathleen Howard 2017-02-15 08:56
Instead of having my ironing board set up in the same room, I have it in another room so I have to get up and walk a bit. Just make sure to unplug it when you are done. Do some stretches while the iron warms up.
#2 Shirlgirl 2017-02-15 08:22
One of the things I like most about my Apple watch is that it taps me to tell me that it is time to stand and move around. Really helps when I am deep in quilting thought.
#1 Laura 2017-02-15 07:59
Thanks for these good suggestions. I would make the case even more strongly--that one's health should be the most important emphasis (without good health, it's hard to have the stamina to quilt) and that quilting should be secondary to exercise. I have found that I'm a social exerciser. I can only make myself exercise if I do it with others. So I joined an early morning fitness class with friends. We carpool together, get our aerobic exercise over first thing in the morning, and have the rest of the day available for quilting and other activities. Exercise makes me feel good, puts me in a good mood, and makes me eager to face the rest of the day, whatever it may bring.
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