There’s no Olympic event for touch typing, but typing is a physical skill, and you’ll need to practice just like any athlete does before a sporting event. You might not think that the small quick movements of your fingers require strength or endurance, but at the end of the workday when you’ve been repeating those movements for eight hours, you’ll definitely find that you’re tired, especially if you aren’t using the proper techniques. There are things you can do to help keep up your strength and improve your typing skills so that you’re fast, accurate, and able to finish your work at record-breaking speeds. The exercises and lessons in the Typesy program are designed to give your fingers a workout, but you can also work on your strength and typing speed even away from the computer. Here are some suggestions:
To increase your strength you can spend time on non-typing finger and hand exercises. This might be useful if you find that you don’t have the same strength in your little fingers as you do in the others. There are grip and finger strengtheners that musicians use that you can carry with you and use while you’re walking the dog or riding the bus to work. You can also practice playing the piano to exercise your fingers – the work you do on one keyboard will help you on the other. But don’t overdo the exercise! 19th century German composer Robert Schumann injured his hand, preventing him from fulfilling a career as a concert pianist, and some scholars say that it was due to overuse of a device to help him strengthen his little fingers.
To increase your speed it’s helpful to keep your hands flexible. Your fingers are a system of muscles, bones, tendons, and joints that all need to work together smoothly, and if your hands are stiff, you won’t be able to type as quickly. Vitamin C and manganese help keep the cartilage in your joints healthy, and glucosamine chondroitin and fish oils are popular supplements that also improve joint health. If your muscles are sore, anti-inflammatory medications can help. If your hands are cold, that will also make them slow and prone to cramps, so try to keep your office space at a comfortable temperature.
To increase your stamina the strength-training and flexibility tips above will help, but one of the best things to do for your stamina might seem to be just the opposite: stop typing. That is, stop typing for a few minutes every so often. Get up, stretch by lacing your fingers together and flexing your hands outward in front of you and over your head, walk around and shake out your arms and hands, and get your body moving. When you go back to sit down and type again, you’ll find that you’re more relaxed and alert, and that will help you keep typing longer.
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