A haiku or two: exercise

The time has come! As promised, I’m back again, asking you to share your experiences of heart disease through the fun (if slightly random) format of haiku!

Quick reminder… A haiku has 17 syllables in all: 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, 5 in the third. For our purposes, that’s really all you need to know – just don’t tell the haiku police I said so!

This month’s theme is EXERCISE – something I’m sure most heart patients have some experience of, or, at the very least, opinons about.

What are your thoughts about keeping active? What kind of exercise do you do? Has your heart condition changed how you feel about exercise? Maybe heart disease taken the joy out of exercise for you, or maybe your heart has provided the motivation you needed to find an activity you love? Does exercise make you feel better, worse, or a bit of both? Do you push yourself too hard? Or maybe you don’t push yourself enough? Maybe you don’t know how hard you should be pushing! Do you exercise alone or with others? Indoors or outdoors – in the pool or the gym or the park or your home? Do you compare yourself to those around you, or to your former self? How do you motivate yourself to keep going? Or maybe you lack motivation altogether? Anything you’ve ever thought about exercise and your heart condition, I want to hear it!

Below are a selection of exercise-inspired haiku I’ve written lately. Hopefully they’ll get your creative juices flowing…and reassure you that what I’m seeking is conversation, not necessarily a masterpiece!

Slow and steady…

Bad heart my motivation

To improve fitness.

Exercise exhausts.

Heart function remains the same.

Doctor: “Great result!”

Sometimes the gym sucks.

Their warm-up beats my full-speed –

But who’s comparing?

Outside observer

When cardiac rehab’s on.

I am one of you.

It’s not happening.

Faulty heart will not play ball.

I’ll stop…for today.

Invisible gains

to fitness by exercise.

Tiredness?  That I see!

Just staying alive

Is a pressure in itself,

Never mind healthy.

Today’s discomfort

is the pay-off for long-term

wellbeing and ease.

Two people cycling in a cycle lane. In the background is a park with people walking.
Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Work with my body –

Get my enemy onside

And build a friendship.

Don’t quit, keep going.

Don’t overdo it – rest too.

Exhausting balance!

I wasn’t inspired

By chintzy armchair workouts.

I was thirty-one.

It took a long time

But my heart is in it now –

A workout that works!

Maybe I’m fitter

Than I would have been without

My heart condition?

OK, so now it’s your turn… Please (please!) share a haiku (or two) with me and with other blog readers in the comments below. Towards the end of the month, I’ll use the comments on this post to put together another mini zine. Just like last month’s (see video above) the zine will be FREE to download and print at home. If your haiku is selected, I’ll share it and your contributor name exactly as they appear in your comment. If you would prefer that your haiku was not featured in the downloadable zine, just let me know in your comment.

I’m so looking forward to hearing your thoughts about exercise and heart disease. Look out for the release of the downloadable zine at the end of July, and a new haiku topic in early August. Happy haikuing! 🙂


  1. I breathe then I stretch
    I stretch alittle bit further
    With each breath I take

    I am face down dog
    Reaching for the sky bum up
    Hands spread on the mat

    I salute the sun
    With a plank and a swan dive
    A lunge and cobra

    I breathe out the stress
    Breathing in calmness and ease
    Namaste to all

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarah! I can’t believe you submitted this AFTER the zine was compiled. I just love it! I can really picture you in your yoga poses and the strength and calm that brings – it’s really empowered/empowering to read. Amazing work 🙂

      I’m thinking about the longer-term path of this project, trying to come up with a way to collate all the contributions in a mega-zine/mini-book format. If it’s OK with you, I will squirrel this away for now and maybe talk to you about sharing it more widely when I have a proper plan? Would it be OK if I included it in a blog post for now? It’s definitely too good to get lost in the comments! Thank you so much for writing it x


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