Posted by Nicole
Some days I have an extremely difficult time getting through 10, 30, 60+ minutes of cardiovascular exercise at the gym.
I’ll walk in and resist the urge to turn around, and walk right back out.
I’ve developed a series of techniques to help make gym time more bearable and smooth-sailing.
None of these techniques are “certified,” they just work for me.
So the next time you are dyingtoleavethegym as soon as you walk in, try some of these techniques:
- Bring/borrow a magazine. Reading a magazine always takes my mind off of the numbers on my cardio machine. Plus, sometimes you hit the jackpot and you can borrow magazines from the gym that you don’t get at home! Score!
- Watch the TVs in the gym. At USD, I would always go to the gym late at night (around 10 pm), and I could get a spot in front of a TV that was airing a show I actually wanted to watch. If you go at a really not-busy time, you can most likely persuade the gym employees to set the TV to a channel you want to watch. I was that girl always changing the TVs to “The Food Network”… guilty as charged. I also use the Netflix app on my phone to watch TV sometimes, but it drains my battery and limits me from listening to workout jamz.
- BLOGS! Hello, Google Reader. Because my Google Reader gets a constant influx of blog-lovin’, I seem to always have new posts to read (<– not like I’m complaining, I love you guys!). At the gym, I can reading these posts while passing time on a cardio machine. That’s much better than just sitting on my butt at home and staring at the computer. Because commenting via phone is complicated, I’ll star the post, and check it out later when I’m on my beloved MacBook!
- Other smartphone apps. Sudoku, The Game of Life, Solitaire, Boggle. Game it up nerds! Also, other social networking sites: WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. I also enjoy Health Tips, it basically is a set of random health facts that you can quickly scroll through.
- Get competitive. Workout next to people who look like they are going to be working hard. Try to stay on the machine longer than them. The competitive aspect sounds bad, but it works ;)
- People-watch. Grab a machine close to the gym windows. I try to get one where I can see the street and parking lot, that way I can creepily watch people outside in the “real world”!
- Stakeout by the gym entrance. Scope out all the people as they walk in and walk out. New people walking in is always a good distraction.
- Crosstrain. 10 minute sets on a treadmill, elliptical, bicycle, and stairmaster add up to 40 minutes folks. Easy peasy. (OK, not really… you will be sweating!)
- Intervals. Rather than sticking to one speed, mix your cardio into intervals. Increase speed for a minute and then go back to your steady pace. Repeat. Keep mixing it up and time will fly by. (We have some interval workouts here, here, here for some ideas!)
- Drag a friend along. Every time I go to the gym with Kelly or my sister, we end up talking more than working out (or so it seems). While doing cardio, your attention is mostly devoted to your friend next to you. Being social increases endorphins AND exercising increases endorphins. Endorphin overload is a great thing. Mark my word.
- Pump out a power playlist. Throw together some of your favorite songs that you know will keep your butt motivated. I tend to gravitate towards the extremely obnoxious (but empowering) house/electro/dance/dubstep music with fast tempos. Also, the Pandora app is a good music resource, but might drain phone battery.
- Get a crush! This is a terrible tip. No I take that back, it’s actually the best one. Staring at someone you have a crush on will motivate you like crazy. Be awkward and workout next to this person or behind them. Eye candy!!! You’ll want to show off.
- Think about other things. Sometimes I’ll start running on a random mileage number (such as 0.27) and I’ll have to calculate how far I have run as I go along. I like mental math… shh. Really, you can think about anything other than cardio and your mind will naturally drift into time-consuming thought.
- Listen to your body. If you really don’t want to be doing cardio, don’t do it. Give yourself at least 15 minutes of cardio before quitting, though. I once read that endorphins are being fully released after as little as 15 minutes of steady cardio. Chances are, after 15 minutes, you will be ready for at least 10 more minutes!
Those are my tips! Let me know what you think of them. And, no judging about Number 12 ;)
Q4U: How do you make time pass at the gym?
Q4U: Which of my tips do you think would be the most effective for you?
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