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Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 08-05-2007, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default ways to make walking less boring

I find that I don't walk as long as I could because I get bored. I don't often have someone to walk with to keep me company so I went looking for ways to keep interested. So far my big find is putting audio books on my ipod. My mind gets so engaged in the story that before I know it I have walked a couple of miles! Anybody else have good ideas for this or find exercise to be...well...kind of boring.
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Old 08-05-2007, 01:23 PM   #2
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Cardio is boring for me, but at the gym.. I mix it up between my IPod and watching the news/other shows (since they have the thing you can hook your headphones to).. that really helps to pass the time, and it's nice to watch tv uninterrupted.. unlike at home!

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Old 08-05-2007, 01:24 PM   #3
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for walking i have to be listening to music or with someone or it just feels like it takes forever. when I run tho, it HAS to be loud music or my legs just refuse to move! exercise doesn't have to be boring, you just have to find what works for you!
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Old 08-05-2007, 01:25 PM   #4
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Music and books on tape. Or plotting out where you're going to go. Maybe you live near a store or park - make that your destination and then you have somewhere to look forward to. I like to go down streets in my subdivision that I normally don't drive on and look at the houses. I'm not sure what else, maybe someone else has ideas.
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Old 08-05-2007, 01:27 PM   #5
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OK I'm such a nerd but I walk w/my MP3 Player and my mind starts to wonder. . . .I picture myself being thin and the things I'd be doing. Kind of a rock video in my mind!!!! Next thing I know I'm speeding along not even realizing I'm walking really fast and have covered a large area in a short amount of time. The battery died in my MP3 so I guess I'll just be plain ole Cristy today!

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Old 08-05-2007, 01:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cakses View Post
Or plotting out where you're going to go. Maybe you live near a store or park - make that your destination and then you have somewhere to look forward to. I like to go down streets in my subdivision that I normally don't drive on and look at the houses.
I second that. I'm on the UoM campus, the campus is gorgeous, it's along the river, the neighborhoods around it are nice, I can go over to Dinkytown some days (within a few blocks of the bridge that collapsed ) and down the river road other days, I like to look at the houses too ...
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Old 08-05-2007, 01:46 PM   #7
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Hey there!

I know I'm probably weird--but I've learned to just like walking. I listen to the birds, I look at the trees and plants, I even say hello to the rabbits and squirrels along the way. And I think my thoughts, or sometimes I don't even get too involved in that. I watch clouds, look around at houses and whatever people are out, feel the air, smell the smells--someone is cooking bacon! Breakfast! Or, someone's making coffee, or barbecuing chicken... that's enough to keep me interested.

But, if I had to, I'd take along a music player just in case.

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Old 08-05-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
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If you have about $100 to spend on a handheld GPS, or if you're willing to check out freecycle groups, garage sales, ebay.... geocaching is great!
(geocaching.com - at least check out the site, it is SO COOL!!!)

Basically, it's treasure hunting for all ages. The treasures are lame trinkets (keychains, plastic toys, state quarters....) that basically you trade for (put something in, take something out or if you want just sign the logbook), but there are caches all over the world, and even if you live in a small town, there's a good chance that there's several very close to you, in parks and nature trails, and even on private land if the owner gives permission. The difficulty of finding the hidden cache and the difficulty of the terrain are listed on the website with the coordinates for the cache and clues. Once you get to the location, your GPS will also tell you how far.

My husband and I can barely walk, and we love it. We mostly try to do caches in parks with benches, so if we have to sit down and rest we can. Wanting to find the hidden treasure motivates me to push myself, long after I would have given up on a regular walk. It's also fun to see who has signed in before you (often people use nicknames, but people will leave a little note about where they're from and you'll from their log entries that they might be from another state, or even another country. One day, we visited three sites, on two nature trails and a park and in each one we were apparently only 20 minutes behind a couple from Holland).
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Old 08-05-2007, 05:44 PM   #9
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Much like everyone else, I've tried:

podcasts - getting to listen to an hour of one my favorite public radio programs turns walking into a reward, and it's easy to download many free programs at once, so I don't end up without having anything to listen to.

having a destination or goal - walking to work, or to a coffee shop or the grocery store, or because I live in an area with many small close together towns, just walking over to the next stop on the commuter rail to see what it's like. Sometimes I'll bring my camera and walk somewhere to take pictures.

meditation - there was a meditation thread at some point this summer where someone suggested counting:
Some people count their inhalations and exhalations, cycling from 1 - 10 and restarting at one when they get distracted by a thought, others just do the same with the out breath or no counting at all.
I love this, because I can do it while walking, and it helps me to feel less stressed out. Like Jayell, I enjoy just walking, but I have a hard time remembering that I like it or that it's worth it to leave the house to "just walk." So the idea of meditating while walking allows me to have a goal while also giving me some time in my day that isn't about doing something or having to have something hold my attention (tv, radio, internet, etc.)

The link to the meditation thread is:
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:03 PM   #10
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How about getting back to nature and peace, using walking as a time to balance yourself? I think this world is too noisy. I dont' have much patience with walking either, but I find that 15-20 min walks are relaxing. Maybe you can just think of them as breaks a few times a day, even a bit after lunch, go cruise and get outside. I dont' know if it's really true but they say two 20 minutes bouts of exercise is the same as 40 all at once.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:45 PM   #11
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What makes walking better for me:

-IPOD and music with a beat that I like - makes time go quicker and makes me pick up the pace

-I always feel better with a destination, so I frequently walk to whole foods or the supermarket or Jewel or what not. It allows me to pick out fresh foods every day and gives me a set start/end point

-WHERE you walk. I live in a busy city. Walking down the main streets is a drag its loud and noisey and things in the way. Walking through my neighborhood though is awesome full of really pretty bungalows I love to look at. Walking in the park is kinda fun too.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:23 PM   #12
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what works for me:

I think of a topic to think about beforehand- Like what I'm making for dinner for the next week, or what to do for my friends birthday, and stick to that.

Besides that I pick something to count like how many birds or how many kids so i'm always on the lookout... i dunno it just makes the time go a bit faster.
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:00 AM   #13
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I hope I'm not just spamming this thread, because mainly I'm here to say there isn't much I know to make walking less boring!

Music didn't work for me because I was training. I didn't want to buy specially-designed BPM walking music tapes (they exist!) and I couldn't be arsed trying to make my own, so no music.

Yes to walking in city neighborhoods though. I live in the country now and I'd REALLY have to get in a zen state of mind to go on a long walk out here. Not to mention the roads, and the sloping shoulders, and the fast cars, blech.

Yes to working on using the walking as a meditative space. If you begin your walk with "Resolved: Solve such and such problem" you'll probably have figured it out by the time you get back.

Back to speaking of training, you can buy a stopwatch (they can be found very cheaply) and time your walks/distances. You can track how fast you're walking and try to improve on that, and improve on your distance too. That makes things a teeny eeny bit more interesting.

Along the same lines, you can work on your walking form. We become used to not using our arms when we walk in our normal lives, but when you walk for exercise you should put your arms completely into it! Use your arms to pump you along. Play with your stride; work on lengthening it. There are a lot of little form tricks too: good posture, including holding in your core abdominal and back muscles; slightly different ways to land your feet; etcetera. For example, consciously getting your entire foot on the ground in a rolling manner from heel to toe—keeping your toe to the ground until the last moment—is a method some use to increase the intensity of walking. I never did that, as I was working for form, speed, and distance, but it's something to consider.

One neat place you'll feel your walk afterwards when you really get into it is in the muscles on either side of your waist and your abdomen! (Like where you put your hands when you "put your hands on your hips") I always love that feeling, like I've gotten a workout right there above my hips, because those are muscles that I've never felt that strongly with just a "workout routine."

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Old 08-07-2007, 12:39 AM   #14
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Oh how I hated walking in my subdivision. I lived at the fuzzy border of rural and suburbs so walking out on the road was dangerous! The one time I tried, I fell into a 4 foot deep ditch avoiding a car! I'm kind of special though...

Now that I'm in a city, it's much better. I definitely agree with picking a goal. For me, I reward myself for a 3.5 mile round trip walk with a stop at Whole Foods in the middle. It also picks up the intensity because I go from just carrying my shopping bag with a cell phone and wallet in it (and ipod in hand) to a full load of groceries on the return trip. I'm zonked by the time I get home and feel like I really got a good workout!

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