Let’s face it.
If you’re a freelance writer, you’ve most likely gained extra pounds over the years. It’s hard to stay thin and fit because we spend all those hours behind our computers writing.
Here’s a fact my friend
Sitting has been declared as a health threat.
So don’t laugh at your friends who smoke or eat poorly because you’re probably sailing in the same boat. Researchers claim that sitting for long periods can cause cancer, shorten life expectancy and even cause diabetes.
Don’t believe me? Here is the proof.
I started my freelance writing career in 2015, and one thing I noticed is that I was gaining weight pretty fast. I could say I was thinner and healthier when I was “poor”- before my writing career than after.
One year down the line, I’d gained several pounds. I realized that I was neglecting my health while chasing them sweet dollars.
But if you’ve heard about the famous saying, Health is Wealth you probably understand the importance of health to every human being. You might earn a six-figure salary as a freelance writer, but if you’re not healthy, the six-figure salary means nothing to you.
So how do you keep fit as a writer without interfering with your busy schedule? Below is a strategy I adopted to stay fit despite spending more than 72 hours on my computer every week.
My cycling strategy as a freelancer
While many people will tell you that freelancing is a flexible career, the opposite is quite the truth. I firmly believe that we work “extra” compared to 8-5pm lads. So finding the right time to shape your health can be tough.
I’ve tried several methods to shed off some extra kilos, but I’ve always terribly failed until I discovered that cycling was the key ingredient missing in my weight loss recipe.
I know most of us would recommend working out in the gym, but if you’re an adventurous soul like me and hate a monthly subscription, that’s not the place for you.
Weekend rides only and the ultimate ride
For the last 1.5 years, I’ve strictly adhered to a routine that I can’t mess with come rain or shine. Mondays through Thursdays are purely working days. I spend my Friday’s either doing nothing, finding new clients, focusing on my blog, watching movies or spending time with my family.
On Saturday you’ll find me cycling over 150km to be precise. If you’re a newbie to the cycling realm, you’ll probably find the numbers overwhelming, but if you’re used to cycling, 150km is too little.
Every year, my friends and I organize the ultimate ride and because I believe that every cyclist has an adventurous soul, the ultimate ride at the end of every year can re-energize you and prepare you for another busy year ahead.
Last year we did the impossible, a crazy ride from Nairobi, Kenya to Dar Es’ Salaam, Tanzania — roughly 850kms. (Let’s connect on Strava).
Did I mention that I did 850km over the December holidays in just five days?
Yep, and despite shedding 11 pounds (around 5kgs) in 5 days, I was able to make new friends from a neighboring country, tried foreign dishes, interacted with foreign cultures, and visited the beach for just a quarter of the expenses I would have incurred by plane or bus.
Benefits of cycling as a freelance writer
Cycling is fun. Once you get used to it, it becomes an addiction — something you can’t live without. You won’t incur monthly subscriptions like the gym, and you can always maintain a regular schedule while keeping fit.
You can cycle to a friend’s house, hike the mountains with your bike, commute using your bike or cycle to your local grocery store.
Over the past 1.5 years, cycling has become a part of me. It’s become an addiction but in the positive way and that’s why I think it should be a part of you as well.
Here’s more on why you should try cycling…
1. Meet new people
Believe me when I tell you that you’re probably going to make a bunch of new friends cycling than driving. At first, I had this belief that I was an introvert until I began cycling.
You can easily make friends with other cyclists. They will become your trusted friends because you all have a passion for cycling. These friends can positively influence you.
I’ve been able to join cycling groups thanks to some of the friends I’ve met commuting on my bicycle.
2. Save money
Trust me when I tell you that you’re going to save much more cycling, not only in terms of commuting fare but also your overall expenditure.
Now that my life revolves around cycling, I can’t recall the last time I made use of public transport. When you combine the cost of maintaining a car plus insurance cover, you can expect to spend roughly $3000 per year. But with a decent bike and some nice gear, your annual cost can be between $300-$500.
That’s $2500 in savings.
On the other hand, you’re going to spend roughly $30-$50 a month on a gym membership. I know this isn’t a budget buster and it’s worth the cost if you use it. But according to StatisticBrain.com, more than 67% of gym memberships go unused.
The annual cost of membership can range $360 to $600. This amount is enough to buy a decent new bike that will last you for years to come and save you cash.
Want to know how much you can save cycling?
Try using this calculator.
3. Quench your adventurous soul
Despite spending most of your days behind those closed doors, your adventurous soul will still need some “satisfaction” at the end of the day. I’ve been able to visit some of the places I thought I’d never have.
You’ll also improve your navigation skills since you’ll have to plan the routes to use and how secure the roads are. Thanks to cycling, I’m now able to navigate the streets of Nairobi, and it’s outskirts without having to use any GPS device.
4. Turn your hobby into a money making machine
It’s true; your blog can make you more money than your average bank teller. Below are some of the simplest methods you can turn your website into a wealth making machine
a. Affiliate marketing
That’s right. Turn your hobby into cash. What if I told you that you could earn up to $1000 per month and much more simply thanks to your hobby?
Let me show you how.
Have you ever heard about affiliate marketing? Did you know that you could make double or triple your freelancing income passively without having to spend hours on the keyboard?
Now that you’ll become accustomed to almost every part of your bike, you can start a YouTube channel or a blog and review anything related to cycling.
For every product, you recommend to your audience, and they make a purchase, you will be able to earn a commission. This only applies to products with affiliate offers.
Alternatively, you can start an online store and sell cycling products such as water bottles, branded cycling kits, and other products related to biking.
b. Guest posting services
Would you believe me if I told you that there big brands websites out there willing to pay you to publish their articles on your website?
It’s true — you can make more passive income by utilizing your blog and selling sponsored content. The truth is that you must be willing to invest in high-quality content and your content must drive traffic for you to attract “big fish brands” to pay you to link to their websites.
Because such brands are always scrambling to be on the first page of Google, and to reach their target audiences, they will always have big budgets to invest in their link building strategies and are willing to spend $100-$200 for a sponsored post.
As a freelancer, besides the keyboard, staying fit should be a top priority. While you could advocate for other workouts like yoga, jogging or going to the gym, it’s evident that cycling can offer added benefits.
What type of exercises have you been doing as a writer? Are you ready to try cycling? Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.