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Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps?
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Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps? on 03/05/2012 08:11:02 MST Print View

This weekend I took my son to the park on Saturday and Sunday, let him play to his hearts content then jogged for a while, did some pull ups, push ups, other stuff. I had sort of an epiphany, maybe others have been onto this for a long time, often I find I am kinda dense or take longer to get to an idea than others..

I was thinking instead of seeing exercise as a chore, something that has to be done, what if I tried more to make it my hobby? Being healthy as a hobby? I never thought of thinking about it that way. I have done some 5K's but I prefer nature so why not sign up for some trail runs, maybe an adventure race eventually?

Just never occurred to me to think about being healthy and exercising as a hobby. It's always been so ingrained in me as a chore.

I like the idea of a hobby that I can spend 90% or more of my time DOING the hobby. Most of my other hobbies have involved 90%+ planning, saving, buying. Being healthy, exercising can be putting on your shoes and getting out for a jog. More time doing, less time preparing to do.

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps?" on 03/05/2012 09:07:37 MST Print View

i can sometimes feel as if exercise is a chore-- as in another element to my already long list-- but truly, this is a rare occasion. perhaps i'm in the minority? but it's often that i find myself amped over wanting to get out and move!
admittedly, i find the key is keeping it fresh.
for instance, this spring i'm planning to learn akido, skateboard...
no less, i train solo and am entirely commited to stepping out-of-door and getting lost. i find i must get creative and make it rewarding to keep my interest level high
and my fitness level soaring.
for instance, i'll cycle 15 miles to the thrift, buy a small goodie when i land there; fastpack to the nearby summit and fill my pack with crabapples to bring home;
load my pack with garden veggies in summer and cycle to and fro to deliver; cycle to the pond to play puck; heff it to the library, take the long way home, tack on what i can here and there; park in the FARTHEST parking spot known-to-man, collect foresaken grocery carts and tote them back to market...
i'm too all about goold ole fashioned manual labor-- raking, shoveling, splitting wood. what have you...
in summation, i find there are most definitely ways to incorporate exercise into my everyday routine, plus training

Leslie Thurston
(lesler) - F

Locale: right here, right now
"Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps?" on 03/05/2012 09:10:16 MST Print View

my bad.
i also live in a rural area and having to find FREE ways to self-entertain...
exercise= tried and true.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps? on 03/05/2012 09:57:52 MST Print View

"...I took my son to the park on Saturday and Sunday, let him play to his hearts content..."

Think of your exercise routine as your "play" time. Exercise should be something you enjoy and it should be fun, this sounds like a description of play to me.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps? on 03/05/2012 11:23:33 MST Print View

Thom: You are right. But how?

Any ideas?

I am going to start by signing up for a trail race or something fun like that then start training for it. Having something to look forward to as a goal makes it more fun and gives me a reason and a deadline to work at it.

Any other ideas/ways people make exercise fun?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Exercise on 03/05/2012 11:28:50 MST Print View

Exercise feels good on it's own, but think we can overdo anything though. An alternative might be to incorporate it into the daily routine, though walkable neighborhoods and safe biking lanes would make it much easier. Kind of silly to drive to a studio, just to sweat on a stationary bike, IMO, but that's reality for most folks.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Habit formation on 03/05/2012 11:41:25 MST Print View

I was reading somewhere about the psychology of habit formation, and the author said that the key to forming a habit is that the action has to lead to some sort of reward. For some people, the reward can be purely psychological (like the feeling you get after a good workout or the knowledge that you are improving our health). Or, you can trick your mind by providing some sort of tangible reward after the workout--a snack, watching your favorite TV show, buying yourself a little present, etc.

So, if you're having trouble with motivation, you might try bribing yourself with a post-workout snack or something similar.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: Habit formation on 03/05/2012 12:01:49 MST Print View

Was that the article in TIME about Target?

That article mentioned having triggers and rewards. Trigger might be laying out your shoes and workout clothes, reward might be as simple as having a calendar that you put a check mark on on the days when you worked out.

I think the article mentioned that with two focus groups the focus group that was educated and coached to implement triggers and rewards did much better than the group that was not in a morning jogging schedule.

More than just forming the habit though, I want to try to enjoy it.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
NY Times on 03/05/2012 12:35:56 MST Print View

It was the New York Times, not Time (but thanks for jogging my memory--no pun intended).

Anyway, I don't know how you can make yourself enjoy something that you don't otherwise. But one thing about exercise is that the learning curve is steep, and you will see big improvements right away in your fitness level if you keep it up.

Edited by sschloss1 on 03/05/2012 12:36:48 MST.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: NY Times on 03/05/2012 12:47:25 MST Print View

"Anyway, I don't know how you can make yourself enjoy something that you don't otherwise. But one thing about exercise is that the learning curve is steep, and you will see big improvements right away in your fitness level if you keep it up."

That is a good question, can you learn to enjoy it?

I think you are right it does get easier. About 10 years ago I was in way better shape and could jog five miles at a about a 9 minute per mile pace and not really get winded much, it was more the bore of it. I would LOVE to get back to that. When you can jog and it's not really a struggle unless you push yourself is so nice. You can go out and get your miles and enjoy it a lot more.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
climb on 03/05/2012 12:57:11 MST Print View

who says you need to job ... go climb ... much more interesting ... or do hawt yoga ;)

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: NY Times on 03/05/2012 13:04:57 MST Print View

Here's the link to the article at the NYT. I'm about to start reading the entire book.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: climb on 03/05/2012 13:21:44 MST Print View

"who says you need to job ... go climb ... much more interesting ... or do hawt yoga ;)"

That is very true but I don't have any climbing to speak of in my area and need free/no cost/can do right near my house.

You bring up a good point though, do exercise that is fun. Maybe a sport of some kind? More to think about.

I really do enjoy jogging once I get more used to it. The huffing and puffing that comes along with not making a habit is not fun but once you get to where you can go out and comfortably jog for long distances without being super winded it is fun. Once you get to that point you can start comfortably challenging yourself, different routines, hilly areas, offroad, etc. In the beginning its just kind of work.

Also it's preparation for racing which I really want to do more of. I read about an Adventure race near me in Alabama with three parts; canoeing, trail running, mountain biking. That sounds like fun! To go and make a weekend of that with the family would be so fun. If I can get my wife into it and we could do teams, even better.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Re: Re: Re: NY Times on 03/05/2012 13:24:29 MST Print View

"Here's the link to the article at the NYT. I'm about to start reading the entire book."

That is the same article I read only I read it (have it at home) in TIME magazine. I didn't realize they cross published like that.

Crazy how the retailers track us/know so much about us.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: climb on 03/05/2012 13:36:34 MST Print View

get off your puter this instance and go for a walk ... only take the stairs today, no elevators ... park away from the stores at the far end of the lot and walk the distance ...

thats the secret to getting started

a decade ago .... it took me 6-12 months of MMA 5 days of a week, sore and barely able to walk every single day ... in order to lose weight

take the first step and dont stop ... its that simple (and hard) ... the more you think about it (BPL style!!!) the more spreadsheets and forums posts youll make about it ... the less youll do it ;)

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Exercise as a chore or a hobby? on 03/05/2012 14:14:42 MST Print View

Eric hit on it with finding exercise options that are fun for you.

For me, I can't stand going to the gym or going for a road run. Don't get me wrong, I do these things still a couple of times each week since they're convenient and don't take a lot of time to pull off, but they feel like a chore to me. The biggest challenge with these sorts of activities is finding the motivation to just get out the door in the first place. It's easy to find excuses. That being said, once I get out the door for the run or get to the gym, I make a point of mixing up my routines to keep things fresh and different. I never run the same route two times in a row, similarly I never do the same strength training workout twice in a row. And I always feel better afterwards, which is some kind of reward.

When I have the time, I prefer to do other types of exercise that I actually enjoy, whether it be hiking, riding my bike(s), trail runs, paddling, climbing, surfing, etc. Again, mixing it up, both in terms of the types of sports and scenery makes me much happier and more eger to get out the door and get some exercise in the first place.

I like to be visually stimulated when I exercise. I also like to make things up as a I go along. Running on a treadmill or going to spin class rather than going for a trail run or bike ride outside just sounds like agony to me.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps? on 03/05/2012 14:22:03 MST Print View

Exercise has always been fun for me. If it isn't fun then I change something to make it fun.

Listening to music really helps. Coffee helps.

About 20 years ago I decided to exercise every day instead of every other day. I found every day to be easier. I set aside about 3 hours each day for the walk to and from the gym, workout, shower, talk to people coming and going, picking up groceries etc. I look forward to it.

Gotta go, Heading to the gym right now.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Chore on 03/05/2012 14:50:43 MST Print View

I find exercise for the sake of exercise to be a chore. Biking, hiking, walking are activities that I enjoy and rarely feel like a chore. Sometimes I run up a little hill or stairs at work instead of walking, just to get my heart pumping a bit. I do take at least half an hour a day to lay on the floor with a big inflatable ball to strengthen my core and alleviate pressure on my back. That feels like a chore sometimes until I do it and then it feels so good and so right that I don't want to get up.
Maybe just think about trying to make your lifestyle a more active one, adding a few steps at a time. Get a dog or make a garden. I would just engage in an activity that isn't just centered around working out, but rather gives you satisfaction besides the exercise. Maybe build something and if you get into it time will fly and you won't want to stop.

Ty Ty

Locale: SE US
Good advice... on 03/05/2012 15:45:24 MST Print View

Good advice here. Thank you.

It's not that I don't do anything right now, I do exercise just not as consistently as I would like.

What I am wondering about is doing something versus making it a hobby that you incorporate into your life. Similar to backpacking. I read about it, I get Backpacker magazine, I subscribe here, I chat about it, I have friends that I do it with, I have a gear spreadsheet, I buy stuff for it.

Right now all I do for exercise is eventually feel guilty for not having been in a while and then I throw on my old gym shorts, some beat up jogging shoes, and a tshirt and go run. The last jogging shoes I bought I wore out then started just using my tennis shoes cause I didn't feel like spending the money on new running shoes...but I won't hesitate to research tents for hours on end and buy a $250 TarpTent that I haven't even used yet.

Why can't exercise/being healthy be the same way? What if I had friends that did adventure races and jogged, worked out (I might find some if I went and did it), what if I read about adventure racing, got a subscription to some adventure racing and exercise websites, was getting emails about upcoming events, looked forward to researching shoes, mountain bikes, whatever.

What if rather than just being something I had to overcome the excuses and get out and do instead I incorporated it into my interests and life so that (for example) getting out to jog a couple miles in my neighborhood was a challenging preparation for an upcoming race?

I am not trying to invent anything here, I know people that are like this maybe runners that do marathons would be a good example. They are into it, they have friends that do it, they have stickers on the back of their car about it. It's part of their identity, its a hobby, its their activity. Yes they still just have to get out and do it but it does not seem the same as someone who just says 'for my health I need to get to the gym 1 hour 4 days a week' and that's it.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Exercise as a chore or a hobby perhaps? on 03/05/2012 16:09:36 MST Print View

For the average person (I mean not an athlete...) I see exercising like I do diets.
It may work for a short time but to me long term benefit has to do with the way we live rather than a short quick fix.
So just as eating a variety of foods and in moderate quantity will help you to be healthier, simply walking about, taking the stairs and so on will achieve in the long term more than an exercise routine.
Mind you location has a lot to do with it..
This is where I spent a lot of my time growing up..
San Lorenzo

(I can assure you that there are very few unfit people there..)
Going around meant going up and down, no need to exercise apart from that...
(just to go down to the shop meant going down 600 feet and then back up 600 feet)
Now that I live in Melbourne , I walk to the shops (well, I don't drive so I have to) and take a ride on my trike a few times a week, but like Daryl, that is fun for me.

There is a funny bit in one of Bill Bryson's books of when he is walking from his house to town (Des Moine).
His neigbour stops her car to offer him a lift. He tells her that he is going to town to the gym so he prefers walking.
The neighbour insists that it is no problem for her to give him a lift...