Finding a Fun Way to Get Fit

  • Someday Lesson: “Personality faults” can help you achieve your goals – it’s just a matter of using them in the right way.

Regular exercise bores me. Yes, that’s right, the idea of staying fit, keeping my weight down and having good pain-free posture is not enough to keep me moving.

I need goals, interesting fun goals. Decreasing waist size and increasing muscle are just too abstract for me to consider.

Take my running as an example. From the end of November to the middle of May, I built up my running endurance and abilities until I could run a 10km race without too much trouble and had even reached a top run of 14km. Then a few things happened to make running less fun. Mid-May I went to sign up for a 20km run at the beginning November but discovered I missed the window of opportunity and the event had sold out, plus at the beginning of June my summer allergies came on strong and moving more than a few blocks at anything other than a walk sucked all the breath out of my lungs and caused my legs to fall asleep mid-run literally from butt to toe-tip.

So, here I was no immediate goal and the fun factor was gone.

The same happened when I used to do indoor rock climbing. I was a faithful climber for two years, going two or three times a week, with built-in mini goals (getting to the top of the wall) that I could strive for. When I reached a point of being a good but not great climber, the next level would have required training outside the climbs in the form of upper body and finger strengthening.

Goodbye fun, hello work.

No, thank you.

I love the WiiFit, but once I had explored and unblocked everything the only thing left was weight loss and increasing my already decent sense of balance. Boring!

So here I am, two weeks away from forty with an expanding waistline and no way from keeping the expansion in check.

Not good.

I looked again at why I don’t exercise.

  1. I have no concrete goal.
  2. I get bored quickly with long-term fitness goals.

Many people might say that my lack of exercise-related attention span is a fault and I should work on increasing it, or just force myself to exercise anyway, but I learned a long time ago the fastest way to get me to not do something is to force myself to do it.

one hundred push ups

My sister, the Urban Panther, for a while talked about something she referred to as the 100 Pushup Challenge. Erin Doland over at Unclutterer also mentioned it on Twitter.

One hundred pushups. Hmmm…

Sounds totally concrete and totally short term.

So I visited the site and especially liked how it gave me a (flexible) time limit: one hundred pushups in six weeks, more or less.

Plus the same site had links to doing two-hundred sit-ups and two-hundred squats, so once I have mastered the pushups, I will have two other programs to follow. I gave it a try, surprising myself with 20 pushups in my initial test and then getting through 45 pushups in five sets yesterday.

Fun and instant progress. Plus after doing the pushups I noticed how much better my posture was (yes, it only lasted an hour at most, but it’s at least some progress!)

And I can keep doing the WiiFit Yoga on my off days to make sure I don’t lose any of my flexibility.

So that’s my anti-boredom tip for the week: include in your goals some short-term concrete projects with tangible results that come quickly.

What are your anti-boredom tips?

Share them with me and you might win a totally rare Dr Seuss book – one of the few he didn’t write for children. Find out more about the Anti-Boredom Contest by clicking here.

P.S. In this case, I’m not an affiliate in any way of this site. I just like the program a lot.

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12 thoughts on “Finding a Fun Way to Get Fit

  1. Awesome!! I love the idea of the 100 pushup challenge.
    Personally I was going to pick up ballroom dancing again, to get myself back into shape, but it sounds like more fun to find something interesting, like this challenge to do on a daily basis too πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing!

  2. I hear you on exercising – I lost 50+ pounds over two years and finding the best way for me (which turned out to be strength training and walking and workout DVDs) was quite the opportunity for frustration.

    But speaking about pushups, I wrote a Squidoo lens on that most magnificent of holidays:

    National 300 Pushups Day!
    http://www.squidoo.com/300-pushups

    πŸ™‚
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..How to make gratuitous profits with CommentLuv longterm – Part 1 =-.

  3. Ellsea says:

    Cool! Good luck with the 100 pushups challenge … and I so hear you on the getting-bored-of-an-exercise thing – that’s always been a struggle for me, especially as a I loathe running. I solved it by taking up ballet again … a contemporary class, for adults – I adore it, and, because it’s a return to my ‘first love’, I don’t think it’ll fall away. Posture, strength and fitness are way better already. I’ve rediscovered what a great game Tennis is – both for fitness and for fun – I just wish I could get to play more often!
    .-= Ellsea´s last blog ..We’re all going on a summer holiday … =-.

  4. Cool! I’m doing the PACE program right now. Never exercise more than 15 minutes and get fitter than an aerobics addict. Love it!
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Where Are You Now? =-.

  5. I’m still working my way through C25K program. I’ve had a couple of interruptions in the way of illness and a back injury. Ironically, my back ‘injury’ is actually caused by being sedentary and bad posture. If I didn’t have the C25K program to follow and the support forums I would have quit ages ago.

    You were training for a specific race weren’t you Alex? Could you sign up for another race so you’ve got something to work towards? Or are your allergies still a problem for you?
    .-= Melinda | WAHM Biz Builder´s last blog ..Knowledge vs Action – Getting the Balance Right =-.

  6. Srinivas Rao says:

    I’m fortunate to live in California so the beach is a way of life for me. I started surfing a few months back and surfing is really different than any other exercise I’ve done. I don’t think about when I’m going to get done, but rather I spend 3-4 hours at a time out and I don’t know where the time goes. Plus you get to be at the beach, so that completely changed my attitude toward fitness. That and it does wonders for your body. I’ve never been a gym rat, but I’ve realized what surfing is doing for upper body definition, so I’m hooked.

  7. Alex Fayle says:

    @Farhan
    Ballroom dancing would be an awesome activity to pick up! The best part is that you have to do it with someone else, so you motivate each other. It was like that with the climbing for which you need climbing partner – great for motivation.

    @Barbara
    Congratulations on the weightloss! I agree on the frustration finding the thing that works for you. Fortunately most of the things I try have a very low-cost entry.

    And thanks as well for the Squidoo lens – it gives me some good ideas on how Squidoo actually works. 300 pushups seems pretty scary, however. Maybe once I’ve accomplished the 100, I can think about 300. πŸ˜‰

    @Ellsea
    I took a modern dance class when I was 17 and loved it. One of the things I’d redo if I could go back and change my childhood would be to insist on taking dance classes as a young child.

    @Stephen
    What’s the PACE program? Sounds very interesting. I can do 15 minutes. πŸ˜‰

    @Melinda
    What’s the C25K program – is that running? I hear you on the back injury problem – the less I exercise the worse my lower back gets (due to weak stomach muscles).

    I was training for a race, but I missed the signup window (16000 spots sold out in 3 days). Plus my allergies keep me from doing more than 10 minutes of running. At 30 my lungs are ready to burst and my legs are so tight they fall asleep from buttocks to toes. Stretching, WiiFit Yoga and the pushups are working better now.

    @Srinivas
    San Sebastian is one of the best sites for surfing and I see every time I go to the beach just how good surfing is for the body. I haven’t tried it out yet though…

  8. I’m a little late to the party with this comment, but I LOVED the posting! Every time that I go to the gym I view my 30 minutes of elliptical as a background to the “real” thing I’m doing–yesterday I got caught up on celebrity gossip with US Magazine. I’m okay with not being engaged by the physical part.

    Love the notion of hundredpushups.com, but I’d be more of a candidate for onepushup.com. I am going to do their program for crunches, though.

    We have a Wii (and Wiifit) which I have yet to hook up. But I’m truly looking forward to Dance, Dance Revolution. It may be the best aerobic workout (beyond the gym) that we get once the snow falls this winter.
    .-= Lab Rat Lizzie´s last blog ..The Week That Wasn’t =-.

  9. It’s all-out high intensity, for something like a minute or less followed by a couple of minutes of rest. You stop after about 15 minutes. It’s not interval either, it’s more complicated than that. It kicks aerobic exercise in the butt in a number ways. The research is clear about that. You get more fit with more lean muscle mass and less fat, your lungs and heart increase capacity far more than aerobic, your metabolism increases, etc. The day after I bought it my dad sent me an article from a Harvard study showing that kind of exercise was superior. Pure coincidence. I’ve read that stuff for quite a few years just never did anything about it. Google it and you can get a couple hundred page e-book with the program for $27.
    .-= Stephen – Rat Race Trap´s last blog ..Top 99 Personal Development Principles from the Greatest Gurus of All Time =-.

  10. Alex Fayle says:

    @Lizzie
    I’ve heard others say that about elliptical machines. A friend of mine back in Toronto lost lots of weight and really toned up by just doing that machine while watching trashy television on the gym’s TV screens.

    @Stephen
    Sounds very cool. And I love the idea of 15 minutes of exercise! I’ll give it a Google…

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