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

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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