Working out is boring as hell for me!! I don’t want to run a marathon. I just want to not be sedentary. That’s all. But boy, working out is just too boring!
I know it’s good for me, so I need to do it
I’ve been trying to get into a workout flow for many years now. Several years ago I was going to a YMCA where I’d swim for a bit and then do a little bit of arms, legs, abs, etc. That lasted a couple of months. Had to stop it for stupid reasons.
Then I started inline skating for about 40 minutes/day. I really enjoyed that, but in the last few years I just couldn’t find the right logistics to make it happen. Hopefully I’ll get back to that in a couple of months.
Find the rhythm
Since last year I’ve actually fallen into a good rhythm, though. How? Fooling myself into not paying attention to what I’m doing. Seriously, I get on the treadmill, look up, and there are TV’s showing things I don’t care about. When they do have something that may be interesting, there’s no way for me to listen to it, and they don’t put on the closed caption, so it’s pretty much useless. I also don’t get inspired by the crappy music (for my standards) that they play over there. So if there’s nothing that keeps my mind busy, I’m there on the treadmill thinking “why am I doing this boring thing?”.
So I had to find something that works for me.
Keeping my mind busy with useful/interesting stuff
If I’m on things such as the treadmill or the elliptical, I watch videos. First, I’ve saved tons of TED videos to my iPad. Many of them were inspiring and got my mind working through several ideas. Quite a few of them really didn’t do much for me, but it was good seeing some things that have nothing to do with my main areas of interest, as it gave me insight on people solving problems in areas I’m not familiar with.
Once I was through with all the TED videos I had queued up, I’ve downloaded the Rails Tutorial videos. I have watched videos for this tutorial 5 years ago, but decided to watch the latest version so I could freshen up my Rails mojo on version 4, since I haven’t done much with it.
Another thing I sometimes do is to use the Text-to-Speech feature of Pocket to go through some articles I’ve saved. I may also switch over to podcasts if I’m tired of looking at the iPad screen.
Jot down ideas and thoughts
As I go through videos, articles, etc. sometimes my mind start to wander off, so I jot quick notes down on Evernote, and review those notes later in the day. If I don’t do write down notes, those thoughts may either come back at another moment, or I may forget it, but stay with that feeling there was something I thought I should have written down, and that bugs me.
I need music for certain activities
When I go to work on other things, like arms, abs, etc., then I switch over to music. Doing those things, I can’t quite pay attention to audiobooks or podcasts, so I just put on fast paced, intense music. That way, again, I don’t pay much attention to the boring thing I’m doing, but instead, get into the flow of the music.
But what’s my goal, really?
One goal I had was to lose some weight, just to stay within the ideal weight for my age, height, etc. I managed to lose 6.2kg / 13.7lbs, and have been keeping it there, so I’m comfortable with that. I credit this weight loss to getting into this routine of at least 3 workouts/week, but also, to very small changes on my diet (I may talk about this in another post). Keeping a steady workout routine has also helped me with another goal: spend more time learning.
Is it working?
I’ve been keeping track of every workout, just to keep myself accountable and not drop the ball. If I skip a workout, I write down the reason, and figure out a way for it not too happen again. If my weight goes up or down, I think about what I’ve been eating, to understand how my body works (I’m not quitting on pizza, lasagna, pasta, and all the other stuff I enjoy eating if I don’t have to!).
I’m feeling good about it. I’m feeling both physically and mentally better.
There are days I’m not in the mood for working out, but then I remember I was looking forward to finishing whatever video I was watching, and that motivates me to go to the gym.