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Why doing nothing is as healthy for you as working out

Kate Carraway

I recently found myself working 40 hours in only three days while writing and editing a draft — the high-intensity interval training of life as a writer. To help maintain the pace, I made sure to sleep for eight hours, worked out every day, and paused to eat the (at least semi-healthy) meals my husband made for me. But by day four, the words on my screen were swimming and swan-diving. My bullet-train hyperconsciousness blew off its rails. I was halfway incoherent and shivery-shaky. I was so out of it I tripped down three stairs, caught myself from falling the rest of the way, and then just sat down, bleary and mystified. I knew that if I kept going, I’d get sick or just shut down.