View Full Version : How to force myself to 'exercise' in the morning? (just a silly thaught)


tomasl
06-15-16, 09:25 AM
Excuse my English, it's my second language.

Long story short:

35 year old male, live in the Netherlands, self employed, ADD-inattentive, probably HSP too. Living a very simple life, but happy with that. Stimulants are not an option (too sensitive), all other ADD and morning depression 'cures' have little effect.

My thing is I feel unmotivated and depressed (not as in not wanting to live anymore) in the morning. Stimulants (including caffeine and cigarettes) make my live worse in the long run, and I don't want to take them.

My mood usually elevates in the afternoon, and I almost always feel optimistic in the evenings.

Same story repeats every day.

Don't need advise on how to handle morning depression or ADD-I, because i've tried it all (unless you know a secret cure not found on the internet :D )

Luckily Exercise of a physically demanding task get me going. Once I am doing that, I can do hard work for many hours.

But of course in the morning everything is pointless and zero motivation. I'm stuck on my pc doing nothing useful at all for hours or sometimes for an entire day.

Getting a job is not an option, because I've tried that many times, but I just can't handle a normal job, and money doesn't motivated me much because I earn enough to survive with my webshop. I am happy with my simple life.
Just wish I could be more healthy and productive. I've heard all the "just force yourself" advises , but you know...

That is why I am looking for motivation to start the thing that motivates me.

Here is my (silly) thought:

I know this probably sounds stupid to a lot of people, but I like being stupid.

I want motivation to start exercise. What motivates me wake up is:

-getting a cup of coffee or cigarettes to feel temporary relief from my 'depressed' mood.
-saying hello to the people around me ask see what's up for the day.
-checking my PC and see if anything is new (mails,news, messages, etc...)
-some extreme discomfort that needs to be handled right away (some emergency)

Could I combine my driving forces in the morning so that I could only get to the things that motivate me in the morning after I am forced to exercise, without any need for self-control, and without the ability to seek for a short-cut?

Ok sounds complicated maybe. Let me give an example:

What If I lived on the top of a remote mountain? I had to walk for two hours to get to my PC, a cup of coffee and to meet other people(the things that I want in the morning). I'm pretty sure I would walk those two hours everyday, because sitting alone on my little house on the top of the mountain while feeling depressed is way worse than walking two hours to get to the things the things I want in the morning.

If somebody actually held a gun to my head and said "i will shoot you if you don't go exercise" , I could actually improve my life. Crazy thought.


To conclude this post, my question is, how can I set myself up to be forced to exercise in the morning. Could I create some situation that creates so much discomfort in the morning, that exercise seems the ONLY way out? Some situation that I would see exercise as a great relief compared to the thought of NOT doing it?

All crazy , but somewhat realistic ideas are welcome. :D

Thomas.

tomasl
06-15-16, 01:29 PM
I've been thinking, and there's something I like to add:

According to the Hunter vs. farmer hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_hypothesis), A Hunter/Gatherer lifestyle would be a suitable lifestyle for somebody with ADD.

It doesn't exactly explain why, but according to the theory it has to do with a short attention span and hyper focus.

My theory is that Hunters with ADD characteristics can feel immediate relief for their discomfort (hunger) if they decide to do some hunting/exercise (gather food). This gives them enough motivation to act/move.

A farmer with ADD characteristics would not get a direct reward for working their fields (hunger relief), thus a farmer with ADD would probably choose not to work in the fields today, because he/she can just eat whatever was left in stock from the previous harvest. Making this person a bad farmer.

If this Hypothesis is correct, and I do believe it could be, ADD would be a set of character traits that don't work well in a 'famer' society.

In other words, it is a disease of civilisation. Just like there is no depression among the Kaluli tribe of New Guinea, No obesity in afrika, no alcoholics in saudi arabia, there would probably not be ADD in a society where lifestyle would resemble that of the Hunter/Gatherer.

Problem is ofcourse nobody in the western world can go back to this lifestyle. But maybe we can emulate the things that make ADD not a problem in those lifestyles?

Comming back to the post I wrote above, I think what I am looking for is the direct relief of discomfort , which can only be solved by an activity that is very beneficial for me (exercise).
I remember back in the days when I was young, had little money, and was addicted to smoking, and there was no tabaco sold in my village, I would cycle 2 hours just to get some smokes.
Unfortunately food and smokes are easy to get nowadays :(

Cyllya
06-16-16, 04:07 AM
If somebody actually held a gun to my head and said "i will shoot you if you don't go exercise" , I could actually improve my life. Crazy thought.

I have this kind of task-avoidance too. I tried to describe it a bunch in this topic (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=174843), in case that helps.

Alas, I have not found any good ways to force myself to do things. In my case, Adderall helps considerably, but it's not enough to get rid of the problem completely, plus I seem to gain too much tolerance after a couple months on a give dose.

You might try asking someone else to pressure you into exercising? Even if they aren't threatening any harm, the potential embarrassment of telling them you neglected to exercise might compel you? This is the idea behind accountability partners.

Depression makes the problem worse. Without depression, I have interest and motivation for doing things, but I still can't make myself do it! Add depression making everything seem worthless and hopeless and too hard, and... I don't get much done.

If you use coffee or cigarettes regularly, you might be making the mornings worse because before you have the next coffee/cigarette, you are going through withdrawal from what you had the day before.

Things are less difficult to make yourself do once they become routine.

I've been thinking, and there's something I like to add:

According to the Hunter vs. farmer hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_vs._farmer_hypothesis), A Hunter/Gatherer lifestyle would be a suitable lifestyle for somebody with ADD.

It doesn't exactly explain why, but according to the theory it has to do with a short attention span and hyper focus.

My theory is that Hunters with ADD characteristics can feel immediate relief for their discomfort (hunger) if they decide to do some hunting/exercise (gather food). This gives them enough motivation to act/move.

A farmer with ADD characteristics would not get a direct reward for working their fields (hunger relief), thus a farmer with ADD would probably choose not to work in the fields today, because he/she can just eat whatever was left in stock from the previous harvest. Making this person a bad farmer.

If this Hypothesis is correct, and I do believe it could be, ADD would be a set of character traits that don't work well in a 'famer' society.

I don't think a crippling neurological disorder would be beneficial or even neutral to hunter-gatherers.

I have the task-avoidance problem you talked about in your first post, and I'm pretty sure that if I had to hunt animals or gather plants to eat, I would die. I say that without hyperbole. Even in our modern age of convenience, I've had situations where I procrastinate on eating because procuring food is too much work. Then I get so hungry I start getting weak or dizzy. Sometimes I have to pay someone to deliver food to my home, out of desperation.

As for the official ADHD symptoms: How would a tendency for careless mistakes benefit a hunter? How would difficulty sustaining attention in tasks benefit a hunter? How would constant failures to notice important sounds in one's vicinity benefit a hunter? How would poor working memory benefit a hunter? How would constantly losing things benefit a hunter? How would it benefit a hunter to be easily distracted by extraneous stimuli, therefore paying inadequate attention to important information? How would forgetfulness benefit a hunter? How would it benefit a hunter to have discomfort holding still (or inability to hold still)? How would impulsively making noise benefit a hunter? How would difficulty waiting patiently benefit a hunter?

ADHD people don't tend to have some super-human concentration abilities. Hyperfocus means too much focus. Sometimes people use the term to refer to normal healthy focus, flow (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)), or interest, but I don't think ADHD people are more likely to have those benefits than other people. Some of us are more inclined to perseverate on activities (get "stuck" doing something, so it's hard to stop, even when stopping would be a good idea).

I'm pretty sure most people who are able to benefit from "hyperfocus" are able to get that benefit because they are inclined to perseverate on something they can get paid for. However, that's only a benefit you could get in our modern society where we are relatively specialized. In hunter-gatherer societies, people normally do a wide variety of activities. The same people who hunt and/or gather will also make tools/weapons, make shelter, make clothing, care for children, etc.

Actually, I do think ADHD would typically be less of a problem for hunter-gatherers, even if they had the same genes related to ADHD, but that is because...

Modern life seems pretty complicated. There's just a lot of stuff. I think milder and milder levels of ADHD are becoming impairing. But, I don't think subsistence farmers had too much more trouble than hunter-gatherers in this regard.

People can't require you to be on time for things if they don't know what time it is, and clocks (including sundials, etc) weren't invented until after agriculture. Actually, it's my understanding that the kind strict schedules/timekeeping we use today weren't usually kept until around the 1800s, when trains became a big deal.

Different dietary and exercise habits and different exposure to substances might make people have neurological problems less often. Different parenting habits might be relevant. Birth injuries usually resulted in death, I think.

Not sure if this was always true, but in the (modern-ish) hunter-gatherer peoples I've read about, it seems they actually had a fairly leisurely lifestyle, to the point of not even having a word for "work" in the negative sense. They are also very autonomous--no one is the boss of anyone else, parents aren't even the boss of their children. People who work less or are otherwise less productive will get the same benefits as those who do more, and people aren't shamed for being less productive. Here is a fascinating article summarizing this. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/200907/play-makes-us-human-v-why-hunter-gatherers-work-is-play)

Personally, if I had zero adult responsibilities, ADHD would still interfere with my hobbies and life goals, but that would be a fairly minor problem compared to the impairment I face now.

Fuzzy12
06-16-16, 04:13 AM
One thing that helps me is to.make boring tasks fun.or combine them with something enjoyable. Maybe like listening to music or anything that is of interest to you.

Or you can pick an exercise that you really enjoy rather than one that is just a chore.

If you can get an exercise buddy with whom.you train every morning it might make you feel more accountable.

TheFitFatty
06-16-16, 05:02 AM
"Just like there is no depression among the Kaluli tribe of New Guinea, No obesity in afrika, no alcoholics in saudi arabia,"

What? You do realize there's plenty of all of those things in all those areas right?

Laserbeak
06-16-16, 05:56 AM
Get an exercise partner! That'll help because you'll feel obligated to each other to get out and run. Do you live in Amsterdam? I live in the U.S. but have a good friend who is Dutch and lives in Amsterdam and is a marathon runner.

Unmanagable
06-16-16, 08:25 AM
What worked for me, as I used to never exercise on purpose, even when I'd join a gym and had to pay fees, I could not get myself into gear, no matter how much I kicked my own a** in attempting:

A medical emergency that made exercise a must. No more time to just think about it, I had to do it or allow my health to decline at a more rapid rate, and I'm allergic to pain, so that wasn't an option in my mind.

I added fun (to me) exercise (a mini-trampoline, a hula-hoop, and an aerobic exercise machine) equipment to my decor so whenever the urge strikes, it's easy and convenient to partake.

In my world, if it isn't made fun and accessible, I lose interest very quickly.

Eliminating the negative energies I was absorbing into my body via meat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods also helped a great deal. (I gave up cigs 9 yrs ago, cold turkey, after trying many times with the aid of nicotine patches, etc.) More than anything else ever has, thus far.

All of that stuff listed are things my body (or any other human body) doesn't healthily recognize or process, and it was weighing me down BIG TIME, brain and body-wise, and keeping me in a much deeper state of dis-ease than I ever realized, until I made those drastic changes to actually live and experience the difference first hand.

I remain quite disturbed at the level of misinformation we are so freely taught about the basic foundations of wellness as it relates to what we consume on a daily basis.

Once I got a taste of how good that little bit of effort can feel, there's been no turning back.

I still slack off some days, but haven't totally stopped any of it, and it's been a little over a year, so far.

Best of luck in finding your motivation and momentum.

tomasl
06-16-16, 10:36 AM
Thanks everybody for your replies.

Exercise buddy's are a good idea, i definitely agree. I do have exercise buddy's in the weekend, but I don't know of anybody who will exercise with me every morning for two hours. Besides that it would be to easy to come up with excuses.

The best thing I came up with for now:

I have two rooms in my house. 1 small for sleeping, 1 big room for everything else. The big room has all the items I need to start the day (food, walled, phone, PC, basically everything I own). The big room has a lock.

I make 7 keys for this room. On sunday I take my cycle and cycle somewhere 1 hour away from my home and I hide all 7 keys somewhere in the woods. Now when I wake up I got basically nothing, except my bike and some gym clothes.

I probably start feeling extremely bored, and I have to take by bike , and fetch one of the keys. I would have to cycle for two hours. When I am back, my brain has produced enough dopamine so I won't start my day procrastinating.

I the evening, just before I go to sleep, I lock the big room again, slide the key under the door, and repeat.

Think this crazy thing could actually work for me :)


@Cyllya,

thanks for your post. I agree that cigarettes and caffeine make things worse in the long run, and I actually feel better without them, but I get less done, because there is nothing to boost my body's dopamine levels in the morning. I think ADD people are always looking for fast reward, and therefore are more susceptible for addiction. But I could say the same thing about Adderall, it has a very similar effect on dopamine as cigarettes and coffee, and it could make things worse in the long run.

quote " I don't think a crippling neurological disorder would be beneficial or even neutral to hunter-gatherers."

I don't like to think as ADD as a crippling neurological disorder. I know ADD caused most of the problems I had in the past, but I must say since changing my lifestyle, ADD is much less of a problem. I set up my life in a way so that I don't have to do routine long boring tasks anymore. Of course I still have my problems, but compared to my past, ADD isn't a as much of a struggle anymore. I've learned to accept my "personality", and I make my life as interesting as possible with as much novelty as possible everyday. But many mornings are still spend procrastinating for hours. Therefore I was looking for a solution for that specific problem.

Interesting thing you have with eating. I don't feel like preparing a healthy meal either, so I usually eat fastfood. But if food delivery and stores are not available (like in a hunter/gatherer society), I think we would both make the meal before we die of hunger. And after a while it gets routine...

About the official ADD symptoms, you are forgetting the positive traits of ADD. Impassivity , curiosity and creativity would actually be very beneficial for a hunter. If hunting a dangerous animal, I would rather have the ability to hyper focus. Taking risk is very rewarding for hunters, because it it involves high reward. Playing it safe like the farmers could be disastrous if nature strikes and the harvest get's destroyed.

What would your rather do, spend a day on the field working long hours doing the same routine task, or go explore new lands to find food and experience new things? I knew I would hate the first, and love the last.

If you think your personality is a disorder, you will start acting like it. I don't see the point in that.

There are a lot of days where I just forget all about ADD because I am forced to start the day with physical exercise. After an hour or two, dopamine starts to flood my brains, and I feel fine for the rest of the day.

And thanks for that article about Hunter-gatherers, it's very interesting indeed.

@Unmanagable

Yes, food is a big thing. I sometimes eat only raw food for a while, greatly improved me mood, but I still need exercise to elevate my dopamine levels.
As far the the medical professionals go, don't have to much faith in them. I know how lifestyle can greatly improve my life, but they only thing the medical professionals do is give me pills, and some basic "education" about what they think ADD is, while in fact , most of them don't have a clue :)

@thefitfatty

Last time they checked they had 1 case of mild depression among 2000 members of the Kaluli tribe : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drv3BP0Fdi8

Unmanagable
06-16-16, 11:48 AM
@Unmanagable

Yes, food is a big thing. I sometimes eat only raw food for a while, greatly improved me mood, but I still need exercise to elevate my dopamine levels.
As far the the medical professionals go, don't have to much faith in them. I know how lifestyle can greatly improve my life, but they only thing the medical professionals do is give me pills, and some basic "education" about what they think ADD is, while in fact , most of them don't have a clue :)



I hear ya'. Medical "professionals" I encountered are the ones who helped dig me a deeper hole of despair. A medical emergency, after years of seeking help within the medical arena to address my rapidly declining health, with little to no luck, prompted me to look elsewhere out of desperation. Grateful for the prompts that led me to where I am now, but saddened that so many others suffer so deeply in their seeking.

The things noted by most as "alternative" are the very things that have helped me the most. Things like acupuncture, chiropractor, massage therapy, iridology, mucus lean and mucus free foods, and energy healing, to name a few.

Healers and feelers who barter their time and skills have been my saving grace. That and learning how to breathe and eat as we are meant to do, to benefit our body instead of creating an ongoing state of shock within and adding to our own misery, albeit subtle at times, have been life changers.

Fortune
06-16-16, 02:59 PM
Just want to mention that ADHD doesn't have any positive traits associated with it.

stef
06-16-16, 04:09 PM
Dont keep any nice coffee in your home
( you really may need the caffeine though so get some instant stuff
you would have to go out to get a coffee, so then as long as tou're out of the house you may as well exercise...

Corina86
06-16-16, 04:56 PM
First of all, I have to apologize for not reading all your posts, but they are all really long. Sorry if someone else mentioned this before.

The best way to make sure you wake up and go out in the morning is to get a dog. You're forced to go for a morning walk and from that to a morning job is a small step, especially if you have a dog with a lot of energy.

Also, small amounts of caffeine aren't bad. 1-2 cups of coffee per day are perfectly safe. Black tea and green tea are also options.

TheFitFatty
06-19-16, 02:28 AM
"Last time they checked they had 1 case of mild depression among 2000 members of the Kaluli tribe"

I don't know anything about the Kaluli tribe, what I do know is that there are plenty of alcoholics in Saudi Arabia and obese people in Africa and always have been.

Dreaming_Strix
07-26-16, 08:38 AM
Hello,
I may be not a good source of ideas because I kind of have the same problem :)
But, there is one good idea: do not set goals. Make it a system instead*. (it looks like you are trying to implement this approach already).
What do you need for exercise, except motivation? A physical ability (enough of energy to spend), an amount of free time and (if required) an equipment. Try to build a system that will allow you to have all three components in the morning. I suspect that you do not have a problem with 2nd and 3rd. Do you sleep well? If not, that's definitely where I would recommend you to start.
Provide yourself with enough sleep! Your morning workout is actually going to start in the evening before, and that's motivating - you do not just fall asleep, you are preparing yourself. :)
I am, personally, going to start (actually, start again - I dropped it several months ago) my morning workouts via "Convict Conditioning" system, and now I knew why I dropped it - I just felt exhausted and had no will to force me back into it. Now I finish my daily shores not later than 22:30, and dive in bed not later than 23:00. And now I feel that I have at least enough energy to start my exercises.

I wish you good luck with it and hope you will manage to make it regular! The system first, the goals next. :)

* I took this idea from Scott Adams' book "How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big". I highly recommend this book for motivation and for some life-changing advices.

KarmanMonkey
07-27-16, 10:25 AM
My experience has been to make small sustainable changes.

I also put myself in situations that "force" me to exercise. For example, if I need to walk a few blocks to get to the bus depot, relying on my sluggishness in the morning can be a way to ensure that it's a brisk walk :-)

I've always needed a reason to get exercise. I have a hard time doing it for its own sake. So I try and find ways to make it less optional. Parking farther away from home or work is sometimes an option.

I also have to regularly remind myself of my motivations for exercise; more energy, more productivity, able to do more with my wife and son... Being able to do more FOR my wife and son... Sleeping better, feeling healthier... The more I remind myself of the reasons to do it rather than judging myself for being on the couch, the easier it is for me to get going.

That being said, it's still often a struggle for me. I wish there was more opportunity for my wife and I to exercise together, or more motivation for me to be physically active in my work. Exercise in solitude is not fun for me.

I also miss Dance Dance Revolution... I might fire up the PlayStation Move, or the XBox Kinnect... Anything to make it less dry and boring.

madmax988
08-09-16, 01:16 PM
why go the morning route..its not for everyone.try early evening instead.that way,you wont sacrifice the sleep cycle and start very light.try to make it fun than a chorus.over a course of time,you'll probably get hooked!