How to Create Distraction Free Workouts

Two Parts:Setting Up a Distraction-Free EnvironmentStaying Consistent with Exercise

Distractions may be a welcome part of your regular fitness and exercise routine. However, certain types or amounts of distractions can actually take away from the quality and total time of your workouts. In addition, including some types of distractions - like reading - can actually cause poor performance and injury over time.[1] Setting up a distraction free environment and limiting them during your exercise routine, can help you stay focused and on track.

Part 1
Setting Up a Distraction-Free Environment

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    Schedule in your weekly workouts. One of the biggest distractions to exercise is your life. Work, kids, family, and school can get in the way of your workouts quickly. Overcome this common source of distractions by scheduling in your exercise.
    • Start with a weekly or monthly calendar. Write in all of your activities and obligations that you know. You'll need to plan your exercise around these items.
    • Next, start to schedule in your exercise sessions. You don't necessarily need to exercise everyday, but choose a few days out of the week where you can fit in a workout.
    • You may even want to consider adding 1 or 2 times of "make-up" exercise if you know you have a particularly busy or stressful week. This back up plan can help ensure you get in enough activity overall.
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    Plan enough time for your workout. Nothing is worse or more distracting that having to squeeze in a workout when you truly don't have enough time. Plan for adequate amounts of time so you can relax and get in a full exercise routine.
    • If you're worried about being late for work or picking up you kids from school, you might not work as hard or quit exercising earlier than you need to.
    • Take the amount of time you need for your fitness routine into account. Trying to squeeze an hour workout in 45 minutes before you head out to work may not be feasible.
    • Look at your weekly or monthly workout schedule and ensure that you're giving yourself enough time to get to your gym if needed, exercise and get home. Don't push yourself to fit too much in.
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    Minimize distractions at home. If you're choosing to stay home and workout, try to minimize the typically distractions that may get in your way.
    • Although working out at home is definitely cheaper and sometimes more convenient than going to the gym, it may come with more distractions. If you find yourself rarely finishing a workout, stopping multiple times during a workout or skipping it all together, exercising at home may not be the way to go.
    • For example, if working out in your dark basement, or trying to fit in some activity in between your kids homework and bedtime is preventing you from being consistent, try going outside or to a gym to help give you the time and inspirational space to exercise.
    • Or, talk to your spouse, a friend or family member about helping you get the time you need to exercise. For example, ask your spouse to be 100% on "kid duty" from 4-5 pm 4 days a week so that you can exercise without your children interrupting.
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    Choose a distraction-free time at the gym. Many people have the luxury of going to a gym or fitness center for their exercise routine. However, even the gym can bring extra distractions.
    • Gyms offer the benefit of having a variety of equipment, aerobics classes and trained staff to help you get and stay fit. However, these same reasons can also be frustrating or distracting to you.
    • If your gym is too crowded when you go, you may not choose to be a frequent customer. In addition, if you don't enjoy working out around other people or feel too many other people distract you, the gym might not be the best distraction-free workout zone.
    • If you notice you can't get in a good workout, choose a time and space at home to exercise, or consider using the great outdoors for a natural location.
    • You may want to consider doing a combination of both at-home exercises and going to the gym. For example, you can run in your neighborhood and then go to the gym for weight training.
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    Be mindful about reading material. Some people choose to read books, magazines or the newspaper while they're putting in some miles on the treadmill. Although this can be a great distraction, it can also distract you too much.
    • It takes a lot of focus to read and concentrate on reading material while you're working out. If you need or want to be working out at a moderate to high intensity pace, reading may hinder you.[2]
    • If you notice you're working out a lower intensity or pace, consider giving up your reading material so you can focus on your pace and intensity.
    • In addition, be careful where you place any reading material. Trainers typically do not recommend placing anything below eye level. You don't want to be looking down or hunching over to read. Place books, magazines or tablets at or above eye level and ensure you're not bending your neck downwards to read.
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    Choose the right type of music. Listening to music can be a great motivator for exercise. However, choose the right type of music to fuel your workout, not set you back.
    • Try to choose songs or music that has a beat or tempo similar to your exercise pace. You may even want to find something with a tempo just slightly faster than your pace to motivate you and keep you going.[3]
    • Avoid songs or types of music that are slow, keep your pace slower or encourage you to stop exercising.
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    Leave your phone in your gym bag. Another common distraction is your cell phone. This is especially true if you're constantly getting text messages or phone calls. Leave this behind to minimize these types of distractions.[4]
    • If you're constantly getting calls from friends, family members or your boss, switch off your phone, put it on silent or leave it in your gym bag. If you're tempted to answer these calls, you'll never be able to get a good workout in.
    • Also, attempting to text and run or text and use the elliptical machine may not be safe. You're not paying attention and may throw off your balance. Save texting for later.
    • If you use your phone for music, set it to a "do not disturb" setting so calls and texts do not show up or come through. But it might be best to leave it off!

Part 2
Staying Consistent with Exercise

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    Choose the best time for your workouts. The timing of your workouts is key for long-term consistency. If you can't make your workouts or it's inconvenient you're more likely to stop going.[5]
    • Think about your typical day or week. When is the best time to fit in a workout? When will you be able to dedicate 30 minutes or an hour of time just for exercise? Make sure this time also doesn't come with distractions that can derail you.
    • You can also choose different times to workout on different days. This will be helpful if you have different work schedules or your children have different schedules on different days. This is why scheduling in your workouts is effective as well.
    • Many times working out in the morning is better-if you can get up. You're more likely to get it in and stay consistent. Plus, the "rest of your day" won't get in the way of an afternoon exercise session.
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    Include a variety of exercises in your routine. Another reason people may stop working out or ditch the gym is boredom.[6] Doing the same routine day after day, week after week, can get old.
    • Switch up your workouts regularly or include a variety of exercises each week. This can help things stay spiced up, fun and exciting.
    • If you find yourself dreading your daily workout, it's time for a change. Don't wait to decide to change up your routine after you've quit for a few weeks. The second you notice boredom or dislike, go for something new.
    • Try aerobic classes, outdoor exercising, working out with a friend or changing up the time of your workouts.
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    Sign up for a race or competition. One way to stay consistent, motivated and on track is by signing up for a race.
    • Consider signing up for a short or long race-wherever your fitness level is. Training for a race requires you to stick to a program for a set amount of time. This can keep you on track.
    • In addition, if you're a competitive person, the training may be motivating and exciting as you improve your athletic performance.


  • If you're exercising and notice any pain, discomfort or difficulty breathing, discontinue immediately and seek medical attention.
  • Pay attention to your workouts and level of distraction. Are you not meeting your maximum potential? Are you going slower than you could? Take these things into consider when you're deciding whether or not to continue including some minor distractions.

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Categories: Personal Fitness