View Full Version : How to get into exercise routine??


sbcy
05-15-12, 05:38 PM
This feels like an epic battle going on for years, especially the past year. I will exercise for a few days every now and then but it never sticks in part because of all the anxiety I usually experience when starting and the sort of desperation/hopelessness I sometimes feel while exercising. I don't know..I'm wondering if it's partially a subconscious power struggle of not wanting to give into being controlled...my parents used (and still do to a lesser degree) to always tell me what to do and exercise was one of those things, but now I'm on my own.

Following lots of steps while exercising..ie: following a work out video is even more distressing as I have a hard time paying attention and switching "tasks" and by tasks this can be as small as switching from jumping jacks to push ups despite still being in a general sense the "task" of exercising. Switching tasks seems to be stressful for me, I even get physically fatigued significantly faster when I have to keep switching tasks or my mind is getting over loaded with confusing input or uncertainty.

So...does anyone have any advice on how to about getting this going or types of exercise to try? I'm not looking to lose weight, it's mainly for my mental health and of course long term physical health is always good to improve. High intensity exercise for about 30 minutes per day seems to be what I need to help my brain but I really don't know what to do exactly that will keep my mind stimulated during exercise (music or audio books isn't enough). I tend to be more likely to engage in things I'm more knowledgable about, (and then eventually get obsessed with) so I'm trying to educate myself about exercise. This is critical because I usually end up pushing myself so unless I enjoyed it, it's much more difficult to keep at. This is in part my OCD at work...if I don't do x number of push ups more than my age then I will be stupid forever. It's easier to give into OCD when in physical discomfort.

crystal8080
05-15-12, 05:54 PM
I need to exercise to keep my stress at a manageable level. I joined an exercise class since i have a hard time doing it at home. I have an easier time if im exercising with other people. Then I can just try to mirror what everyone else is doing instead of just trying to focus on instructions. Ive been doing this for a few months now, but its only twice a week, so i decided to try running. A friend of mine said she was going to train for a 5K, and i thought maybe I would try it. Not the 5K, but the running part :)

There is a program called Couch to 5K, im just focusing on one thing at a time. Run for a minute, walk for a minute and a half, run for a minute. Simple. I can follow that. I just started back on meds so im letting my body get used to that, then im going to get back at it.

Another idea would be to join a Zumba class. There is no talking. Everyone just tries to do as the instructor does, and its the same moves for the same songs and the same songs every class.

Good luck. :)

syrella
05-15-12, 06:01 PM
I don't think I'm gonna be much help, since I struggle with the similar issues. xD For me, it's also that I happen to really hate exercise. I don't like unpleasant physical sensations and I never feel very good during exercise. And since I don't really exercise all that often, I usually get all of the pain and soreness and exhaustion that follows, and not the "refreshing" feeling that is supposed to accompany it.

That said, it shouldn't be impossible for you to find something that works for you. Can you make a schedule for yourself? Maybe instead of switching tasks, you do just one type of exercise one day, another type the next day. Or, if you are more interested in one type of exercise, vary the intensity from day to day. I recently started up bike riding. Some days I don't go, some days I only go for a "light" ride, and other days I try a little harder. It's not much, but it's what I can handle right now. At least it's better than nothing.

As for getting bored, what about finding a partner to exercise with? I know I'm pretty asocial so that's really hard for me. You might also try taking a class. Once again, I've struggled with that because of difficulty following instructions. But if you are in a good environment, it should also be relatively low stress.

If all else fails, though... you could try playing DDR or another similar style game. The Wii Fit is another example, though I think DDR is a better work out. It might help give more of a "purpose" to your exercise since it's also a game. You can also track your progress in the form of your score and the time you spend.

Does that help? :/

demuregeek
05-15-12, 06:19 PM
I find it really helps if it's something that's regularly scheduled on some kind of external routine -- like a martial arts class, or swim lessons, or something of that sort. Knowing that every Mon & Wed is judo time, that people are expecting you to show up, and that you paid money for it all seem to help. :o

Will1963
05-15-12, 07:52 PM
FWIW, I found something that works for me even though I'm the classic person who never gets around to doing things. I don't know if it's helpful, but this is something that worked for a person who has huge difficulties getting himself to exercise. It's not what an exercise guru would recommend, but for me, and maybe for others, the important thing is to find something I can actually get myself to do regularly.

I bought a used Stairmaster and put it in my sunroom. Every day, before my morning shower, I go on it for 20 minutes, except a few days when I have to leave early. The advantages are:
1. Because it's an unvarying routine, I don't forget to do it.
2. Because it's at home and before my morning shower, it doesn't take any more time than the exercise itself. If I had to go somewhere, it'd take too much time, but this way, it's just the 20 minutes of continuous cardio.
3. I put a magazine on the Stairmaster and read it while exercising. That way I have something to occupy my mind other than the pain, and something to look forward to when I start the exercise.

CheekyMonkey
05-16-12, 12:18 AM
The only way I got hooked was with a personal trainer. Because:

1) I had appointments I HAD to go to
2) They gave me an exact workout plan and how to do it
3) They measured and weighed me frequently so I could see my progress


After a year of that I was absolutely hooked and LOVED working out. I had a ton of background knowledge on how to properly exercise and saw great results that were very motivating.

ana futura
05-16-12, 12:38 AM
In addition to your planned routine, try to incorporate movement into your daily life. Walk as much as you can, always take the stairs, park at the far end of the lot, walk around when talking on the phone. All that extra walking will add up, and walking is one of the best excercises there is.

Find actitivities that are engaging and exciting to you- riding a bike is way more fun than using a treadmill.

Take it slow and avoid an all or nothing mindset. 10 minutes of excercise is better than nothing at all. Tell yourself that you just need to put in 5 minutes, and then see how it goes.

sbcy
05-16-12, 12:42 AM
In addition to your planned routine, try to incorporate movement into your daily life. Walk as much as you can, always take the stairs, park at the far end of the lot, walk around when talking on the phone. All that extra walking will add up, and walking is one of the best excercises there is.

Find actitivities that are engaging and exciting to you- riding a bike is way more fun than using a treadmill.

Take it slow and avoid an all or nothing mindset. 10 minutes of excercise is better than nothing at all. Tell yourself that you just need to put in 5 minutes, and then see how it goes.

While I don't disagree with you that incorporating more walking into one's life styles is healthy, I don't seem to ever see any cognitive benefits from this. I used to do work where I was on my feet 12+ hours per day and it didn't really help on the cognitive side of things. Only very strenuous exertion seems to raise those neurotransmitter levels for a couple hours.

ana futura
05-16-12, 12:52 AM
While I don't disagree with you that incorporating more walking into one's life styles is healthy, I don't seem to ever see any cognitive benefits from this. I used to do work where I was on my feet 12+ hours per day and it didn't really help on the cognitive side of things. Only very strenuous exertion seems to raise those neurotransmitter levels for a couple hours.

There's a big difference between walking and working on your feet. The only time I notice cognitive benefit from walking is on long walks, but I think any and all movement helps a little bit.

If you really want to work on cognitive functioning, the best activities are cycling, swimming, running, rowing, martial arts and yoga.

This article is great -

http://www.bicycling.com/print/1034

fracturedstory
05-16-12, 06:39 AM
It's the different brain wave activity you experience. Working would be stressful so you're amped up, but when going for long walks you're doing something repetitive and calming, which gets you thinking, and it really does improve concentration. Even when you don't notice cognitive benefits they are happening, just like walking slowly for an hour a day is more helpful to losing weight than intensive exercise in a gym is.

I exercise on Saturdays just to provide non-medical benefit to my ADHD.

Walking is also good to keep off those horrible IBS symptoms.

demuregeek
05-16-12, 11:54 AM
There's a big difference between walking and working on your feet. The only time I notice cognitive benefit from walking is on long walks, but I think any and all movement helps a little bit.

FWIW, I started trying to increase the amount of exercise I get around 10 weeks ago by taking walks of ~45min or so at least 5 times a week. It's great for my mood and probably is doing a bit of good for my blood pressure as well, but it hasn't helped my concentration at all.

Slo-mo a-go-go
05-21-12, 03:04 AM
I'm in the same boat, sbcy, I struggle with staying w/ exercise even though I enjoy it. I really I identified with:
Only very strenuous exertion seems to raise those neurotransmitter levels for a couple hours.
It's the same for me. And the loss of that boost really deflates me even though I've recognized the pattern & mentally acknowledge it as such.

Outside of bicycling to work or working as a bike messenger, there were only two times I found myself sticking to an exercise without it being a struggle.

---Power of posting! Reading and responding to this post reminded me of this lesson I learned abt my ADD but had forgotten! & I feel my optimism returning with it! Hurrah for ADDForums!---

Sure, I still had to push myself to do it, but the difference that mattered was this: that push I gave myself had traction and I started rolling! Like magic but not, just felt like magic because ADDers push themselves so hard to move a shorter distance more slowly!! Those exercise routines that stuck with me are polar opposites!

I heard it said abt ADDers often: sometimes you don't know why it works for you but it just does. So keep trying it all! You'll now when you find it. Within a week I found myself looking forward to my exercise, which sounds like another clue to me.

Its funny thinking about it, those 2 exercise routines that stuck with me are polar opposites!
Indoor/ outdoor
In group/ alone
Surrounded by lots of activity&noise/ Stillness & quiet
I'll stop there....
Well, i dont know about you, but I ended up feeling really encouraged by writing this. I'm off to ride my bike (ending my 6wk stretch w/o exercise!)!! http://addforums.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=1120&pictureid=8318

ADDinHDefgHi?!
05-21-12, 04:13 AM
I don't do well with routines, addictions on the other hand...

To develop an exercise addiction, exercise everyday for at least thirty minutes. It can be anything that gets your heart rate up, like walking at a fast pace continually. I used to do that while listening to music and within a couple weeks I'd feel like I was in withdrawal if I didn't exercise.

I'm not sure that's a good way to do it, but I kept it up for a couple years and I looked and felt really good during that time. I started as a way to balance out all the time I spent in bars, but it really helped me in so many ways at that time. This was before my ADHD dx.

The only trouble was I couldn't skip a day, If I did I felt "off' all day. I'd do anything to get at least 30mins of fast paced walking in a day. I should start doing that again actually, it was a good addiction.

tudorose
05-21-12, 07:04 AM
Ride to work so it becomes part of your normal routine. That way you don't have to make time for it later.

In 2010 I rode 6375km (just to and from work - 65km round trip).

In 2011 I had a goal of 7500km. I didn't make it coz I got really sick and life as I knew it stopped.

This year I just want to recover and get back into it. Last week I rode in one day and rode home the next day. Today I rode in and rode home. It's gotta be a gradual thing so I don't crash. I'm still recovering from RRV which is like chronic fatigue plus I have lost all my fitness.

Maybe you should give riding a go. It makes it easier to let go of all the stress of work before you get home.

ana futura
05-21-12, 07:13 PM
Ride to work so it becomes part of your normal routine. That way you don't have to make time for it later.

In 2010 I rode 6375km (just to and from work - 65km round trip).

In 2011 I had a goal of 7500km. I didn't make it coz I got really sick and life as I knew it stopped.

This year I just want to recover and get back into it. Last week I rode in one day and rode home the next day. Today I rode in and rode home. It's gotta be a gradual thing so I don't crash. I'm still recovering from RRV which is like chronic fatigue plus I have lost all my fitness.

Maybe you should give riding a go. It makes it easier to let go of all the stress of work before you get home.


I was doing really well riding last year. I would get in at least two 35 mile rides to work each week, and a bunch of shorter rides. I did a few all day rides as well. Then things happened, and my life changed, and it's been so hard to get back into the habit. 50 miles used to be easy for me, now 10 miles is hard. I really need to get back into it, the bike does wonders for me.

425runner
05-21-12, 10:19 PM
I'm the same way but I walk a lot. I can't sit or work for more then 2 hrs, so I go outside and take a brisk walk. At lunch I walk 30 min. and I recently started lifting weights once a week to shape up. It really does feel good to be strong! Physically...I mean...and I have to force myself to do the weight lifting but it's always worth it.

RepetitiveWork
05-22-12, 03:17 AM
Running does it for me. Looking back at my college transcript there's a clear indication exercise helped me. I didn't get checked out till my last semester of college so you can imagine how horrible my transcript is. Well, one semester I ran intensely for about 30 mins or more a day and drank coffee. Got straight As that semester. A semester which I had taken 6 classes and all difficult.

Didn't keep it up though. Just had that one great semester. I still use running and coffee for my work performance. I go to the gym on my lunch and drink coffee at the start of the day. Sometimes I even have the will to do some personal study after work. Get that heart rate peaking!!

ADXP
05-22-12, 10:58 AM
So...does anyone have any advice on how to about getting this going or types of exercise to try? I'm not looking to lose weight, it's mainly for my mental health and of course long term physical health is always good to improve. High intensity exercise for about 30 minutes per day seems to be what I need to help my brain but I really don't know what to do exactly that will keep my mind stimulated during exercise (music or audio books isn't enough). I tend to be more likely to engage in things I'm more knowledgable about, (and then eventually get obsessed with) so I'm trying to educate myself about exercise. This is critical because I usually end up pushing myself so unless I enjoyed it, it's much more difficult to keep at. This is in part my OCD at work...if I don't do x number of push ups more than my age then I will be stupid forever. It's easier to give into OCD when in physical discomfort.

I do yoga everyday. I started it becoz that's the only thing that helped me with anxiety from Dexedrine. It is always about the time when the first dose tends to run out before noon time. One thing that lead me to develop the urge to do it is when I designated a place in my kitchen where I find the most quiet place in my house it is where my cats eats their supper. That part of my kitchen has a very soft carpet & I keep it clean everyday. Somehow everyday I clean up from their supper after wards I will lay down on it & once I lay down it triggers me to do stretching. SO I deliberately make their supper time messy so in the morning I will have the urge to cleaning it. I have 12 cats & I use the regular huge plates to put their food into ,so imagine 12 plates lying on the on the floor when you wake up & stare at it for a while while having a tea or coffee in the morning? You have no choice & having no choice is sometimes a good thing for me.

tipoo
05-22-12, 11:03 AM
It's like eating at a certain time or waking up at a certain time or doing anything else routinely, the longer you work out regularly the more you will want to work out at that time, believe it or not. I was reluctant to start going to a gym, but now I feel bad if I don't go for too many days, and sometimes I just have to. It may take weeks or months, but exercise will change from feeling like a chore to feeling like a much needed release of energy.

kuhan1923
05-22-12, 02:18 PM
Look up a jiu jitsu martial arts academy near home. If you listen to me and just try it out i guarantee it will solve all your problems.

ana futura
05-22-12, 03:24 PM
Look up a jiu jitsu martial arts academy near home. If you listen to me and just try it out i guarantee it will solve all your problems.

Truth. I've no doubt that the years I spent practicing martial arts helped my undiagnosed ADHD tremendously.

I do have some physical injuries from it that currently prevent me from returning to it, but it was so worth it. Now that I'm older and my joints are cranky I'd like to start something like Tai Chi.

sarek
05-22-12, 03:59 PM
I played Badminton for 30 years and it kind of forced me into a weekly routine. For most of that time I must have been one of the most steady and reliable players.
But suddenly I somehow seem to have lost all interest and I went there less and less until I called it quits completely.

Occasionally I make it on to my bike to ride a few miles but these days the routine seems to keep eluding me.

What I am trying now is to incorporate short workouts into my work routine.

pyogenes
05-22-12, 05:12 PM
I went with a very expensive yet very effective route. I tried pretty much everything else and this is the only thing that worked for me.

I hired a personal trainer at my gym. It cost me about $60 per session and if I didn't cancel 24 hours in advance I'd be charged anyway. I also scheduled my sessions to be first thing in the morning. The fear of wasting my money was the necessary motivation I needed to show up multiple times a week.

Once I developed the habit of going regularly I started being able to motivate myself to go. It helps a lot that my PT taught me a ton of exercises so I no longer felt lost as to what I should be doing. I actually got to the point where I was going to the gym 8-9 times a week. Only reason that habit died was it interfered with a relationship I started shortly afterwards.

I'm okay at motivating myself to exercise now that I feel like an expert at it (not that I am, it's the feeling that helps with any motivation or anxiety issues). Or to be more truthful, I have just enough motivation to do some very rudimentary exercises a couple times a week. The one thing I can't seem to motivate myself to do that paying a PT could motivated me to do is waking up at 6:30 in the morning to work out for an hour before going to work...

Rebelyell
05-22-12, 05:20 PM
Boy I thought I was bad,joined gym w friend at end of february went like gangbusters for 2-3 weeks and havent been back since then

Slo-mo a-go-go
05-22-12, 09:37 PM
I've been very interested in martial arts but I'm scared to find out the cost. I know it would be worth the investment, but I also want to 'invest' in ADD coaching. To help with that decision, which martial arts have you tried? I don't know which to zone in on (well I've ruled out Tai Chi based on my dislike of the pace of yoga) and would appreciate any input!


**newbie 2 forum** I'm still trying to feel out when my post are too far off thread topic- english is my 2nd language, tangents are my 1st! :rolleyes:

kuhan1923
05-22-12, 09:56 PM
I've been very interested in martial arts but I'm scared to find out the cost. I know it would be worth the investment, but I also want to 'invest' in ADD coaching. To help with that decision, which martial arts have you tried? I don't know which to zone in on (well I've ruled out Tai Chi based on my dislike of the pace of yoga) and would appreciate any input!


**newbie 2 forum** I'm still trying to feel out when my post are too far off thread topic- english is my 2nd language, tangents are my 1st! :rolleyes:

Try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu :)

I find most things in life boring, but jiu jitsu is different, it is really fascinating and interesting. And on top of all that, it'll lose those pounds, just be sure to do it consistently!

But yes, it is expensive, I've been paying $148 a month, but my instructor is one of the best in the world, he's trained and is still training UFC champions like jon fitch and cain velasquez. He also trained with BJ Penn, Nick Diaz, etc.

ana futura
05-22-12, 11:12 PM
I've been very interested in martial arts but I'm scared to find out the cost. I know it would be worth the investment, but I also want to 'invest' in ADD coaching. To help with that decision, which martial arts have you tried? I don't know which to zone in on (well I've ruled out Tai Chi based on my dislike of the pace of yoga) and would appreciate any input!


I wouldn't recommend tai chi for young people unless they first have experience with "harder" martial arts. Tai chi is very soft, but you can appreciate the martial aspect more once you've taken something like kung fu first. It's a lot more fun then.

If you are strapped for cash, BJJ and MMA will probably be out of your price range. A lot of YMCA's will offer affordable MA classes, check yours and see what they have. I've seen them offer Kali, Judo and Tae Kwon Do.

I personally have experience with kung fu, kenpo karate, judo, and I've tried out a few other things that I didn't stay with, like Kali.

I enjoyed everything I've taken. I prefer striking arts over grappling arts, but they're both fun. I had the most fun in kung fu. I'm slim and lanky, and I think striking arts fit my build better.

It doesn't really matter what you take if you're taking it for cognitive benefit. All that matters is that you enjoy it and stick with it. If you're truly taking it for self defense then some things are really better than others. For self defense I'd recommend down and dirty practical arts like Krav Maga or the philipino martial arts.

Slo-mo a-go-go
05-23-12, 07:08 AM
This info is great!
I can never absorb these names of martial arts when talking to people.
Auditory processing disorder makes all-"asdfio~mz'iuds hn urtha./v9z"
Now I can actually look these up!

"Try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu :)

I find most things in life boring, but jiu jitsu is different, it is really fascinating and interesting."ll that, it'll lose those pounds, just be sure to do it consistently!

But yes, it is expensive, I've been paying $148 a month, but my instructor is one of the best in the world,"


"If you are strapped for cash, BJJ and MMA will probably be out of your price range. A lot of YMCA's will offer affordable MA classes, check yours and see what they have. I've seen them offer Kali, Judo and Tae Kwon Do."

"I enjoyed everything I've taken. I prefer striking arts over grappling arts, but they're both fun. I had the most fun in kung fu. I'm slim and lanky, and I think striking arts fit my build better.

It doesn't really matter what you take if you're taking it for cognitive benefit. All that matters is that you enjoy it and stick with it. If you're truly taking it for self defense then some things are really better than others. For self defense I'd recommend down and dirty practical arts like Krav Maga or the philipino martial arts."

The boring problem I have too so that nice to hear jiu jitsu engages you.

The idea of the striking arts fitting your build is an angle I never saw before! I'm also slim and lanky.

I going to the books to look up these types and then I'll hit you guys with more questions.

ana futura
05-23-12, 12:28 PM
The idea of the striking arts fitting your build is an angle I never saw before! I'm also slim and lanky.


I think if you are interested in a grappling art BJJ is the way to go. There's not a lot of rolling like there is in Judo. I felt Judo was a bad match for my body type, but it was still fun.

I love kicking stuff, so I get a bit bummed out when I can't kick things- another reason to consider a striking art.

I think your first decision is striking vs. grappling, and then look at what schools are in your area. The quality of the school is the most important thing.

Also consider if you ever want to learn weapons. Only some martial arts styles have weapons. Filipino martial arts are a lot of fun for weapons.

hjajck
05-23-12, 01:01 PM
The only thing that has ever worked for me is using a short workout on a regular basis. I currently workout 15 minutes/day. Because I am using 5-7 muscle groups at the same time, it is as effective as working out for 30-45 minutes (as evidenced by my pant size).

I don't get too bored since it's only 15 minutes. Although I can talk myself out of almost anything, I find it hard to with this workout. By the time I finish thinking about not wanting to do it, or why I don't feel like it - I would have been done!

Candlewax
05-24-12, 08:11 AM
the most important thing is to make it a habit, so that you don't have to exert yourself mentally when starting the task. It becomes like brushing your teeth, you just do it without thinking about it, because it's such a habit.

It's also very important to focus on one habit at a time, untill it becomes ingrained, then move on to the next one. I've read that a habit takes about 20-30 days of consistent effort to get cemented.

something that also helped me, is making a habit chart. I got this idea from Zen Habits, but I can't find the article now. Basically you make a chart, with on the horizontal axis the days of the week, and on the vertical axis your various habits (in my case, running 4 times/week, workout 3 times/week, meditating every day, and cleaning the house on saturday). If you've done it, you make the square green, if you haven't done it, you colour it red. it gives you something to hold on to, so you don't have to have the overview in your head. And it's good to see the progress you've made by looking back.

I have to admit I never had a week with only green squares, there's always something that comes up to interfere with your routine, but it does help.

ana futura
05-25-12, 02:20 PM
the most important thing is to make it a habit, so that you don't have to exert yourself mentally when starting the task. It becomes like brushing your teeth, you just do it without thinking about it, because it's such a habit.

It's also very important to focus on one habit at a time, untill it becomes ingrained, then move on to the next one. I've read that a habit takes about 20-30 days of consistent effort to get cemented.

something that also helped me, is making a habit chart. I got this idea from Zen Habits, but I can't find the article now. Basically you make a chart, with on the horizontal axis the days of the week, and on the vertical axis your various habits (in my case, running 4 times/week, workout 3 times/week, meditating every day, and cleaning the house on saturday). If you've done it, you make the square green, if you haven't done it, you colour it red. it gives you something to hold on to, so you don't have to have the overview in your head. And it's good to see the progress you've made by looking back.

I have to admit I never had a week with only green squares, there's always something that comes up to interfere with your routine, but it does help.

Thanks, I'm going to try this.