If TLC made a show called “Extreme List Makers,” I would be their first featured lunatic. I constantly make lists. Just looking around my room here at Purdue you can find several tools of the trade. Here is a sampling:
Believe it or not, the little pad of white paper with the blue marker is my favorite. I pretty much always carry it around with me if I have a backpack of some sort.
Getting to the main point of this blog, today I have a list that I think is actually worth sharing. Most of my lists are about things I need to do, things I need to buy, etc…. Pretty exciting stuff, I know.
I made a mental list while I was running today. Yes, I am still attempting to run. No, it hasn’t gotten any more fun. But I have gotten a good list out of it! I started thinking about exercising tips. Keep in mind that I am an Animal Science major, so I am more qualified to tell you how to manage livestock than help you with fitness. If you are like me, it’s really hard to motivate yourself to exercise. While I will refer most to running, hopefully you can apply this to any form of exercise!
1) Keep up your posture. No matter how awkward and forced it feels, it helps a lot. Otherwise, you will end up doing more harm than good. My run started uphill. Typically I try to avoid going up hills, but I didn’t have a choice today. I find especially when I run up hills, I drop my shoulders and hunch over. This is bad because it ends up hurting my back and making me feel like I am suffocating because I don’t open up my lungs completely.
2) Have accountability. I find it easier when people know that I am making an attempt to exercise somewhat regularly. This isn’t because I want people to think I am awesome. If they actually watched me run, they wouldn’t think that. Example: Because I blogged about running, I should keep trying to exercise. If I don’t, someone may ask me how my running is going and I have to say, “Haha… About that…”
3) Don’t use excuses. Leading up to my runs, I always have this internal battle where I try telling myself that I don’t like running so I shouldn’t do it. I then tell myself to suck it up and go. So what this means for you is that “I don’t like running” and “I am not very good at running” are both my excuses, and I don’t use them so you can’t either.
4) Listen to music and/or pray. If you hate music, then I guess you can disregard that point. But you can always pray. Sometimes, when I can’t get my music to play or even while my music is playing I will start praying. Generally my prayers involve asking God to help my knee not to give out or my body to not spontaneously combust from overheating. Frequently, I find myself needing to ask Him to give me the proper attitude about running and thanking Him for having two legs to be able to run.
5) Set mini goals while exercising to keep going. Today, it was really hot and I didn’t feel like going any further. To keep myself running, I would set little goals like, “Just get to that pole,” or, “When you make it to the roundabout, you can stop.” I found that when I would reach each place I had enough energy to keep going, so I wouldn’t stop. I know this probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but it is worth a shot. It works for me because I can trick myself into continuing to run since each little part it less daunting than the overall workout. Also, if you are legitimately about to pass out, Stop. I don’t want to be responsible for you hurting yourself.
6) Be easy and hard on yourself. I know that is a paradox. To elaborate, you should be mean to yourself by giving yourself a challenge, but be nice to yourself by making it more feasible and less miserable. In my case, my challenge is just simply running. I have had people ask me why I run rather than swim considering that I was a swimmer in high school. That is a perfectly reasonable question, and I would much rather swim. However, I know that if I go to the corec and swim, I won’t push myself as hard as I can be and need to be pushed. I make running less miserable by trying to run at times when it isn’t hot, like in the morning. For me this makes it slightly more pleasant because I don’t enjoy extreme heat while standing, let alone running.
7) Think of things you could be doing that are less fun or even worse than exercising. Like studying physics.
8) Only wear comfortable clothes (i.e. running shorts, basketball shorts, yoga pants) on days where you legitimately plan on or have exercised. I have started doing this and it provides me with motivation for running and also makes me appear more presentable to society than is normal for me on days that I don’t run!
9) Combine exercise with things you want to/ have to/ need to do. For some, that could be watching TV and doing ab workouts during commercials. For me, it has meant running places that I need to go. At my current level of fitness, I check and make sure it isn’t more than 3 miles away. If it’s not, and I still need to exercise that day, then I run there. That has meant running to CVS, running to the post office, and running to Wal-mart. The good thing about this is that once I start going, it is further motivation to keep running because otherwise it will take forever and a day to walk there. I not only like making lists, I also like marking multiple things off my list at the same time. Tuesday and today, when I went to Wal-mart to buy things and then return something I didn’t need respectively, I ran there and took the bus back. I need to figure out the bus routes for the city buses that give rides to students for free, so I took a different bus back each day. Three things off my list both days!
10) If you combine exercise with other activities, order them so you do what you least like first. I am more likely to hop on a bus and figure out the routes than run. So, if I were to decide to ride the bus to Wal-mart and run back, I could see myself ending up just riding the bus both ways.
That’s my list! Hopefully you have either gotten something out of it, or at least enjoyed getting to see a famous Mallory list.