fitness

A Little Help Getting Started

As I have mentioned umpteen times, I am on a continuous quest to make it easier to begin every exercise session.

ADHD can make task initiation (a.k.a ‘just start!’) a real challenge so I’m always seeking ways to reduce the friction involved in deciding to exercise.

A light-haired medium-sized dog sits upright on a patterned mat on a wooden patio.
A somewhat gratuitous photo of Khalee but she fits the theme of this post. Her need to go for a walk often makes it easier for me to ‘just start’ walking.

Lately, I have had two triumphs so I thought I would share them with you in case you find it hard to ‘just start’ too

I found a cool-down video.

After I have finished the intense part of my workout, I usually go to one of two extremes with my cool-down/stretching.

Either I drag it out, stretching every muscle I can. Or, I stretch my neck and lower back and call it a day.

Both of these extremes actually make it harder for me to talk myself into exercising because I know I will either be there half the day or I will be uncomfortable and sore later.

Recently though, it occurred to me to look for a cool-down video* so I could have a fixed routine that didn’t involve a lot of decision-making or time tracking on my part.

I found this Fitness Blender cool-down and I LOVE it. It’s not flashy but it is effective – I get a full body stretch with what feels like very little effort. And, since it often gets you to stretch two muscles at once, it feels efficient, too. My brain loves feeling efficient (it’s a rare feeling for me.)

The above video features a white woman in colourful exercise clothes performing a variety of cool-down exercises and stretches while a narrator provides verbal instruction.

I made an Exercise Dashboard in Google Docs.

Since the videos are so helpful, and my current workout is in an online article, I was finding myself digging out links over and over. The (admittedly minimal but still) hassle of finding and following those links was creating a little friction for me so I decided to put all of my current exercise/wellness links in a document so I would have easy access to them.

This has been incredibly helpful. Having all the links in one spot makes it easier to start my workout because I know that I won’t get on my own nerves trying to find them. I don’t have to think about the links, they are all right there in front of me.

I’m sure there are other ways to achieve the same thing but this solution is working for me. If you’d like to see a public version of my dashboard, it’s here: Exercise Dashboard

What kinds of things do you do to make it easier to start your workout?

*I’ve been using this warm-up video for ages, I don’t know why it took me so long to look for a cool-down video. Brains are weird like that, I guess.

4 thoughts on “A Little Help Getting Started

  1. Great, Christine! It’s like you’ve made yourself a workout to-do list, check each box and you’re done! I love a good to-do list. I can put easy things on there (“eat breakfast”), and then I get such a sense of accomplishment when I cross them off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And it keeps me from getting caught in the weeds of indecision and minor obstacles. I also like to put easy things on my to do list – sometimes I write stuff that I have already done so I have the fun of checking them off.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for cheering me on.

      Liked by 1 person

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