6 Ways To Entertain Yourself At The Gym

by Kaitlyn Wylde
Javier Sánchez Mingorance / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images

I'm just going to say it: I hate working out. I find it tedious, boring, painful, frustrating, and strenuous. But while I'm convinced I hate it more than the average lazy bone, I'm not immune to its benefits. Like anyone else, I always feel like a million bucks when I'm walking home from the gym. It gives me a much needed boost of energy in the early evening, and I feel stronger and stronger every day. Not to mention, the anxiety-fighting skills of a good cardio session are undeniable.

But knowing all of the amazing effects of working out and knowing how amazing I feel when I leave the gym doesn't make it any easier to get through the work out. Despite the fact that the entire time I'm in motion I'm struggling physically, I'm struggling even more mentally —the boredom is real.

Not everyone can afford or find the time for specialty classes that are better at holding your attention. So I've had to create a boredom-busting gym routine to keep my mind as active as my body. Here are six things you can do to make your gym time more interesting — because there's nothing better than being so distracted you end up surprised by how much time has passed.

Book On The Bike

Some people can read while they run but I can barely handle listening to music without tripping so I don't recommend reading on the treadmill. I do however, recommend bringing a book or magazine with you to cycle on a stationary bike. Every five minutes you can increase or decrease the intensity, just make sure you switch it up if you plan on spending your whole workout on the bike.

Action Score On The Treadmill

Pop music can get me going, but after a while I tend to plateau. And because I'm in public and can't sass and dazzle with jazz hands how I want to, I almost find listing to dance music on the machine frustrating. Instead, I download the soundtracks to high intensity chase sequences in action films. Try the Trent Reznor score from Girl With The Dragon Tattoo if you want to feel cool as hell.

Showtime At The Elliptical

Personally, I find the elliptical to be the most boring of machines. It's just the same, low-intensity motions over and over again. After a few minutes I'm antsy and sick of it. So, instead of staying home to watch TV, I go to the gym to watch a show I like. If your gym doesn't have a TV, you can download a show on your phone. It's pretty hard to trip on the elliptical, so I think it's much safer to get distracted.

Podcast On The Rowing Machine

Talk about boring — the rowing machine is the same difficult motion over and over and over again. It's the most groundhog day of exercises. Turn on a really funny podcast and get distracted. This exercise is so much more tolerable when you're laughing your way through it.

The Girl On The Phone

OK, I don't recommend being the girl on the phone unless you're working out alone. There's nothing more annoying than being stuck next to someone who's complaining to their mother about their boss or gabbing with their bestie about their pap-smear results. However, if you happen to find yourself alone in the gym, a vigorous uphill walk on the treadmill paired with a phone call is perfection.

Five-Minute Rule

It's sort of like the five-second rule but a lot less fun. In this circumstance, I change machines every five minutes for a half hour total cardio work out. Knowing that you won't be in that one spot for long, frees up your mind and keeps you from getting too bored or complacent. I'll do five minutes on the rowing machine, five on the ladder, five on the elliptical, five jump rope, five on the bike and five uphill on the treadmill. Ignore the looks you get jumping from machine to machine, haters gonna hate.

Images: Javier Sánchez Mingorance / EyeEm/EyeEm/Getty Images, Giphy