Monday, March 8, 2010


Back in elementary school we used to have this thing called Recess! I loved getting to take a break from the classroom and run around and play outside.

Sadly, as we get older we don't call it Recess!! anymore. We call it "working out" or "exercise" neither of which sound fun.

The title of this post was originally called, "Motivation for exercise" but that sounded unappealing and doesn't convey how enjoyable it can be to move around.

"Getting into the door... or popping in the exercise DVD... or taking the first step out the door" is often described as "90% of the effort". It seems every book on fitness conveys some variation on this theme.

So, given that exercise is something you may be avoiding, or running around being less fun that it was when you were a little kid, here are some of my tried and true strategies.

When I build exercise into my daily routine I quickly get in the habit of craving that good feeling. I know it sounds insane, but it is true. I still haven't figured out a way to convince myself easily if I have gotten out of the habit, but it is true. Like the guy in Memento we need to write down the note so we remember.

I make the decision in advance and I make it a default, like going to work.

I don't wake up in the morning and ask, "Do I feel like going to work today?" Because, to be honest most days I'd prefer to turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

Because I am not a morning person by nature, I use this personality trait to my advantage. I dress in my sweatpants, sweatshirt and sneakers and put my work clothes in a gym bag. I don't allow myself the opportunity to change in the restroom at work, so I know when I get in the car that I am going to the gym.

Once I am in the door, I have a deal I have made with myself. It's called, "Just five minutes" which means, I get on the least unappealing of the three options: Elliptical, Treadmill, or Bike. And I set the timer for 5 minutes and go.

It doesn't matter how much I wasn't in the mood, once the first 5 minutes are up I almost always go another 5, and another 5 until I have done at least 4 cycles.

I did intervals on the elliptical today for 35 minutes, ranging from a very challenging 11 miles and hour (which I did not sustain for long) to a base pace of 5 miles an hour. When I was done, I did some drop weight training and then I was on my way to shower.

So, find something fun to do outside, or inside, by yourself or with a friend. If these suggestions don't appeal to you, is there something that would?

Post a comment and share your favorite exercise/play with the group.

Gotta go, it's time for Recess!


1 comment:

  1. I've never been good at going to a gym. I ride my bike as my mode of transportation but to 'step it up' I walk the hills of my neighborhood in SF to get more of a cardio boost. I've been slacking lately though but reading this I'm reminded of how much I love my recess time too. :)