My exercise of choice right now is martial arts. It has been since 95, when I joined Kuk Sool Won, a korean martial art that my girlfriend’s roommate was doing. I did it pretty much on a whim, now I’ve been practicing for seventeen years and I’m a third degree black belt, teaching at the club that I joined so long ago.
I think exercise is critical for writing. Why? Well, what’s the most important thing about writing? Butt-in-chair.
Which is great for writing, but bad for your butt.
I need to move, otherwise I feel like crap. And when I feel like crap, the writing, not so much. It also just gives me a break, a time away from worrying about whatever plot points or characters are being difficult at the moment. And those breaks are when my subconscious can go after that difficulty and usually solve it.
Doing martial arts as exercise has an additional advantage for writing. I know have a lot better idea about how hand-to-hand fighting works. And swords. And spears. And bows, and knife throwing and… it goes on.
Mostly though, it keeps me from turning into a giant lump. Which as I tell my students is really the most important thing. Being attacked by ninjas? Uncommon. Being attacked by cheetos? Very common, and just as dangerous.