ADHD · fitness

Seeking Some Core Fun

Given that a lot of exercises for your core are 1) repetitive 2) tricky 3) hard, it’s no wonder that my brain hates them and finds them boring.

I can do plank…if I can also read at the same time (it’s hard to turn pages though) because plank is booooooorrrrring.

I can do dead bugs but there seems to be so many variations that my brain always insists I am doing the “wrong” ones. Besides that, they’re boring.

I flatly refuse to do crunches because they feel bad, no matter how careful I am with my form. Oh, and they’re boring.

Yeah, I know that exercise is about exercise not about being fun or interesting.

But I also know that I have ADHD and if I don’t make it fun or interesting, I won’t do it. In fact, it will barely be a blip on my to do list radar.

Baby Jump GIF by ProBit Global - Find & Share on GIPHY
This looks fun, do you think it would help strengthen my core? Image description: A GIF of a big round brown seal bumping down a path on its belly while two people walk along behind

So, I’ve been trying to find core exercises that feel good, are kind of interesting and that have the possibility of being fun.

The video below from Heart and Bones Yoga looks promising but I’d like to find some more ideas.

Got any suggestions for me?

Clearly I am not the only one who finds this stuff boring, Brea from Heart and Bones Yoga thinks lots of people feel that way. Image/link description: A video from Heart and Bones Yoga’s Instagram account. In the image, the instructor is wearing black shorts and a black tank top and crawling on a wooden floor on her hands and on the balls of her feet.

ADHD · challenge · habits · holiday fitness · motivation

Christine’s ‘Core’ Idea For The Next Three Weeks

I’ve been writing daily ‘Making Space 2022‘ posts since December started so I’ve been trying out bits and pieces of all kinds of exercise videos.

(Given that I am still at post-Covid fatigue levels, I haven’t done all parts of all videos. After all, I need enough energy in a given day to walk Khalee, to do my other daily activities, and to write the post, so choices must be made.)

I’ve enjoyed the variety but I have been finding myself wanting a little more consistency – something specific to do each day, whether or not I do that day’s video.

I’m feeling drawn to the idea of doing a set of exercises every day and feeling like I am building towards something specific.

And since a lot of my challenges with other activities seem to be related to a need for more core strength, I was already planning to make core exercises the focus of my exercise plans for the next year or so.

Starting now means I can really let myself take things slowly (even my ADHD brain recognizes that this is *not* the time of year to add anything big to my life), I can start building a strong foundation (both physically and habit-wise) without having to make too many plans right now, and when I pick a specific time for those exercises, I will be adding a little extra structure to my days so time won’t race along as much as it usually does this time of year.

But, knowing this time of year, and taking into account the fact that I am still dealing with fatigue, I am keeping the bar fairly low.

The first set of leg raises in the video below are my marker for what ‘counts. Once I have done those, I can say I am done for the day. However, if I feel up to it, I can keep going but anything beyond that first set is ‘above and beyond.’

A 5-MIN Standing Abs and Core Strengthening Workout from the Coach Sofia YouTube channel. Still image shows the video title on the left side and the instructor on the right. Coach Sofia is wearing blue leggings and a white tank top and has their right leg raised so their knee is at hip level and they have their left arm raised overhead.

I recognize that under normal conditions, these exercises might be a bit on the easy side for me.

Right now, however, I want to conserve my energy and I really want to focus on building the habit, on starting slow, and these exercises (which can provide more or less of a challenge, depending how I go about them) seem like the perfect way to do that.

How are you feeling about your fitness routines for the rest of the year?

Are you sticking with what you’ve got? Taking a break? Switching things up a little?

fitness · strength training

Christine and the Dead Bug Plan

One of my goals this summer is to increase my core strength.

I’m sure you already know the usual benefits of a strong core so I’m not going to drag you through that info.

As a martial artist, however, I have extra reasons to seek a stronger core. Strengthening those muscles will help me have balance for stronger kicks and they will help with the twisting motion that adds power to TKD movements.

I find a lot of core work to be really annoying and I struggle to keep good form. (There’s a whole host of reasons for that, too, but I am really trying to stick to my point!)

However, I have found one core exercise that actually enjoy. It’s detailed enough to hold my attention without being too intricate and it doesn’t cause me any strain in my upper back or neck.*

So, I’m making friends with dead bugs this summer.

(Not literally of course. That just seems counterproductive – the poor bugs wouldn’t even know you had befriended them. Ha ha!)

Two photos of person in exercise clothes lying on a mat and demonstrating different stages of the ‘dead bug’ exercise.
Image description: two photos of a person in exercise clothing lying on their back on a yoga mat and demonstrating different parts of the dead bug exercise. image source.

This exercise, which is demonstrated in the video below, involves raising and lowering your left arm and right leg and then your right arm and left leg. So, it’s got an extra element of brain-twistiness that helps me stay engaged with the process.

Plus, I always end up laughing when I mess up which limb to move when. Laughing during core work definitely has appeal, doesn’t it?

If you’re thinking ‘I’d like to try this but I’d have to work up to it.’ you can find progressive adaptations here.

What kind of core exercises do you do?

Do you include Dead Bugs?

Do you enjoy them?

*I know part of that strain in other exercises comes from poor form, it’s not the specific exercise itself. Still, it’s a deterrent and an extra bit of fussiness.