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Old 06-08-12, 04:59 PM
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Exercise and mental stimulation

I was wondering if anyone else has trouble with this. I try to "work out" on a semi-frequent basis, but I find myself extraordinarily bored by the entire process. I own a gym membership but probably only go a handful of times a month because I just don't find it interesting. I'm not one of those people who can plug in their headphones and just run on a treadmill for 30 minutes. I get bored after ten.

Even if something is physically rigorous, if I'm not being mentally stimulated I get so bored that I can't stick with it for more than a few minutes, and certainly won't make a weekly routine out of it. Squats, free weights, using a workout ball, exercise machines, treadmills... I run into the same problem with all of them. I get going for maybe 10 minutes and even though the endorphin rush feels good, I'm so bored up in my head that I find myself thinking, "Okay, so what exactly is the point of this? It feels like work, not fun. I want to be having fun."

I used to run outside when I lived in a better neighborhood, because taking in the scenery helped to alleviate the boredom. But currently I do not live in an area where I feel comfortable running outside, especially not during the time of day that I am home and able to jog. I play tennis when I can, but again, the area I live in now doesn't have access to very many outdoor courts. The ones that are nearby are pretty sketchy, I would not want to be there alone in the early evening.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can make working out more mentally stimulating so that I will actually stick with it? (Particularly in a gym setting.) I have ADHD-C and I feel like I have a lot of energy to burn off, but can't seem to find a routine that doesn't bore me! Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-08-12, 05:22 PM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

I get bored with excercising. I find its easier if you get someone to train with and keep you motivated. The competitive streak takes over then.

I need to burn off excess energy but I get bored stupid with walking or running. Just cant keep to a routine at all.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:06 PM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

I'm absolutely the same way when it comes to the type of exercise you're talking about. Plus, I hate gyms and the types of exercise they do there with a passion. Being in a big room under unnatural, bright light on a machine that requires me to make unnatural movements in an unnatural repetitive pattern, with TV screens on the walls flashing in unnatural colors is not my idea of fun. I was just writing on another thread about training yourself to be in the present moment and how nothing is ever boring there, but the problem with exercising in a gym is that the present moment is full of unpleasant sensory input.

My solution is to get my exercise incidentally, as a result of other activities. For instance, I get to a good number of the places I go by walking. It's not "exercise," I'm just transporting myself from one location to another. I've also taking up ecstatic dance/conscious movement. This can be one heck of a workout, or not; you basically get to move however you want to at whatever pace you want to. For me it's a spiritual practice, but again, it also results in me getting exercise.

What you choose might be totally different - is there a sport you like to play? Do you like to go hiking? Maybe there's a beach where you live that you love to explore on a regular basis? What about ice skating?

Another option would be to get a job or a second job that provides physical activity - stocking shelves, moving around a warehouse, etc.

Exercise is really a completely unnatural concept, if you think about it. It wasn't until quite recently in human history that our daily lives didn't provide us with more than enough physical activity to keep us fit. Can you imagine a caveman taking time out of his day to go lift up, say, a rock, and then put it back down 30 or 40 times in a row? And what do you think the caveman would think of us if we suggested it to him? He'd think we were out of our minds to suggest wasting time like that.

Better to simply incorporate into your life activities that you enjoy for their own sake, and let the physical exertion be a nice side effect.
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Old 06-08-12, 07:57 PM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

All I do is lift weights while listening to my favourite music in my room. I walk around a lot too. But the weights give me a lot of upper body strength.

And I count. OK, I've done this routine about 200 times, time to have a rest me thinks.
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Old 06-08-12, 10:26 PM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

What the OP said. All of it. It bores me to tears! bleck. I had the best results playing dance dance revolution for xbox in my living room. You can't really do it at a gym, but that's what worked for me. It was a game I was playing, and exercise was just a great by-product. I was so focused on stepping on the right arrows along with the music that it didn't seem like exercise at all. The game has a great work-out mode where you plug in your height and weight, and it keeps track of your steps and calories burned. I wore a step-ometer with it, and the game was pretty accurate! I lost about 15-20 pounds along with a low cal diet.
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Old 06-08-12, 11:09 PM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

most if not all exercise programs bore me to tears. That why when my right foot heals I am going to take Kali and Muay Thai classes. I'm thinking punching something will help relieve stress and get me in shape
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Old 06-09-12, 10:58 AM
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Re: Exercise and mental stimulation

Thanks for all the suggestions chartreuse! Like I said, I do play tennis but I'm at work 9-5 most days and don't have anywhere safe outdoors that I can play by the time I get home, walk the dog, make dinner, etc. At that point it's almost 7 PM and while it's still light outside, in my neighborhood that's not the time you want to be out by yourself in the park.

I love to dance and I do dance around my apartment a lot, but I need more than that. I just don't feel like I get winded enough in the space of my apartment dancing by myself! I was thinking about maybe taking a Zumba class at the gym since it's a dance workout, so it should be fun but it's also moderate cardio. Has anyone here taken Zumba, what did you think of it?

Spacemaster, they had DDR in the arcade in the mall where I grew up! What a throwback. I don't have a gaming system anymore, mostly because if I had one I would never do anything productive ever again. But one of my best friends has some dance game for his XBox, maybe I should go over to his house and play it with him more often.
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