Tracking My Exercise: There's NOT an App for That?!

I have a million excuses for why I haven’t been exercising regularly. And even if they’re “reasons”, they are still mostly excuses: I’ve been on the road a lot (which thankfully has built in walking); my knee is messed up; my knee pain is exacerbated by snow and ice, which are plentiful in Winnipeg in the winter; and my lungs make it difficult if not impossible to exercise outside in Winter. Those and general busy-ness are among the million excuses for why I haven’t been doing what I should be exercise wise, even though I know I feel better and am more productive for doing it!

And the reality is, ALL OF THOSE EXCUSES have easily implemented solutions. So here I am, getting back on track: it’s the day after my 27th birthday, and I’m beyond ready to get back on track. Again. Aside from one last trip out to Vancouver coming up, I’m pretty much back home for the foreseeable future. My knee and lungs are feeling pretty good right now. I am ready to go.

Do something, then log it

Logging things is motivating for me because I am a nerd. Today, I started this post and called it "Apps for getting back on the exercise train”. I’ve been working at getting back at it: May 20th, I went kayaking for the first time this year. May 21 — my birthday — I went out again. May 22, I went for a 53 minute, slow, multi-tasking walk with one crutch. In 28*C weather. Which is hot for this Canadian (and is 82*F for you Americans. 28 and 82 are reversible, it is a fun trick).

Then I got to thinking: How might I track exercise streaks: not just walking or not just kayaking, but count every day I do something as a streak? I then tried to find an app where I could accumulate exercise streaks with a variety of exercises. People like me, we don’t do well doing just one kind of thing.

There was a problem though. There was only one app that MAYBE did what I wanted, and um no, I was not paying $5.99 for it.

People, I am highly motivated by logging and tracking and pretty apps. But you know, even if this app won a design award, no, I was not going to pay THAT MUCH for it. I paid almost that for my CALENDAR APP which is practically a life-saver. (Shh, don’t remind me exercise is a literal life-saver..!)

Going old-school: Paper?!

So. The app solutions didn’t exist. I basically gave up and sat down to write about the app not existing, the app I needed to motivate my sort-of-injured, exercise-induced, severe asthmatic, quantified-selfer self to get my butt moving. And then, people, one of my Smart Girls with ADHD, Laura, appeared out of the blue, with a link to this Bullet Journal spread.

Not long later, I’d produced this:

Seriously, it was meant to be. The only tape in reach happened to have bikes on it! It checks all the boxes minus the one of it living in my phone: I can see the streak I’ve accomplished, I can see WHAT I did and for how long. Sure, I’d like to add a little more room for other data next time (come on, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t want to add a little mood tracker, right?) but, hey, maybe this time the paper will work for me.

How do you keep yourself motivated to exercise with asthma and other obstacles? Let me know in the comments!

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