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Workout Tip # 5a: Know Thy Self!

Oct 27, 2017

When to work out?


Knowing what is likely to work for you, your brain, your body, and your life is so important. I’ve always wanted to be that guy in the shoe commercial who gets up and goes for a run first thing in the morning. For years I beat myself up for not doing it. Then I finally realized…. I’m not that guy. My body doesn’t feel great in the morning. My brain is pretty focused, so I don’t really need the benefits of my workout yet. And, it doesn’t necessarily work with my schedule.


Eventually, I realized that I work best if I have a break mid day to get my workout in. I need the opportunity to reset myself after a morning or work or parenting. It gives me a chance to be mindful, get my brain chemistry sorted, and refocus for my afternoon. I’ve learned that I have a sweet spot in my day between 10:30 and 3:30. Occasionally, when my schedule mandates, I can get a workout in the a.m. But it’s never a great workout. And, if I wait too long, I end up feeling antsy but lack the energy to want to really workout.


The point is that it took me a very long time to recognize these things about me. I’m hoping that sharing my journey can help some of you get there faster than I did.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.


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Workout Tip #4

Oct 20, 2017

Don’t push yourself until your workout is torture. It is really important to leave yourself feeling good or you won’t want to go back. For example, if you go to the gym with the goal of doing a 30 minute lifting routine and find that you don’t feel great and really feel like you only have 2 sets of 10 in you instead of 3 sets, that’s okay. If you have done all of the workout except one exercise that you hate and you’re want to be done, that’s okay. If you have done 25 minutes and feel like you’ve had a good workout and are ready to be done, that’s okay. 20 - 25 minutes of good exercise and a good feeling is far better than 30 minutes and leaving with a bad taste in your mouth. Slowly but surely you will start to change your thinking about your workouts. They will go from sucking your will to live to not so bad. Then they might actually be a thing you can learn to enjoy.


Of course we do need to push ourselves enough that we are really getting enough of a benefit out of our exercise. I’m an athlete and a competitive son of a gun. So, pushing myself isn’t so hard. But, my wife, for example sometimes struggles with that. If you do struggle with pushing yourself, don’t think about pushing yourself for longer, just think about increasing your intensity. Think about hiring a good trainer to get you jump started. Or find a workout buddy who is self motivated. You can feed on their intensity as you learn to create your own. Also consider doing intervals. That really worked for my wife. She does interval sprinting on the spin bike (and watches tv while she does it,) and that helps her push to where she wants to be.


This is a lovely segue into the next topic of knowing yourself. Check it out next time.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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Great ADHD education event!

Oct 17, 2017

Dr. McDonnell is one of my favorite people in the ADHD community here in Greater Boston. Please consider checking this out.
Great ADHD education event!

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Subscription option!

Sep 29, 2017

Hey everyone. I know there are at least a few of you who read the blog regularly. So I had my web guy add a subscription option. I generally try to post every Friday, but if you'd rather get an email to remind you to check in when I post a new entry, sign up now!
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Dynamy Open House

Oct 2, 2017

See attached flyer for info about Dynamy's open house. They are a gap year program that I think sounds pretty good. Not cheap, but so is failing out of college because you're not ready.
Dynamy Open House

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Workout tip #3: Don't slip into all or nothing thinking

Sep 22, 2017

I've always felt that as ADHDers we often feel completely at the mercy of inertia. The ADHDer in motion tends to stay in motion. The ADHDer on the couch tends to stay on the couch. If you take this as given, and add in our difficulties with self regulation, initiation, and transitioning... Let's just say that it's not always as easy at is looks for us to get off the couch, and go work out. Bearing this in mind, there is some "psychological Kung-Fu" that you can use to get yourself moving.

One of the best ways to insure that you won't go work out is to get in a mindset that a certain amount of time, distance, reps, etc is the only way to have a successful workout. For example, if you frame success as only 40 minutes, or 5 miles, or so many suicide runs, you've set a high bar. That effort level might not feel worth it enough in the moment to get you moving. 

Try encouraging yourself to exercise with no expectations of how long you will go for. (Of course, you should budget enough time for fit in your best case scenario.) Look at it as a victory if you just get into your workout clothes and get on the bike or to the gym. Because, believe it or not, that's the hardest part. Once you are at the gym, or on the bike you are in motion and it's not so hard to keep going. If your best case is a 5 mile run, a 4 mile run is great, a three mile run is more than enough, and a two mile run is a great "easy day." 

Simply by going you are establishing good habits and a routine. Consistency if far more important in this type of thing than intensity or duration. Those will come with time... if you're consistent. 

Also, on the other side of this coin, a note on how to keep going. I find that even mid workout I play games with myself. If I'm feeling not awesome two miles in, I'll push myself to get to three miles and call it a day. Sometimes I do, but more often than not, I can then get myself to 4 or even 5 miles. Sometimes it's about one more song or making it to the next telephone pole for the last two miles. 

But, absolutely do not push yourself to the point that you are either miserable or putting your body in a situation that its in danger of not being able to be consistent. 4 miles that you walk away from feeling good is much better than 5 miles that you hated for the last mile. The former is much more likely to be something that you are inclined to do again. And, if you push so hard that it takes your body a week to recover, you'll never be able to develop the consistency that we need.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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