How to Pass Time While Doing Cardio

Cardiovascular exercise is an essential element of any fitness regiment. Unfortunately for some it can be highly tedious. In the following article we'll explore ways to forget you're on a stationary work-out machine.


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    Consider what type of entertainment activities you prefer while exercising and whether they are a good fit for your workouts. Here are some possibilities:
    • Reading - This is a good fit for stationary bicycles or stair machines where you don't have a lot of motion.
    • Listening to music or audio books - Many people enjoy listening to music while exercising and find that music can help motivate them in their workouts. An engaging audio book can be a great way to pass the time as well.
    • Watching Television - Many gyms have TVs near their stationary exercise equipment that you can watch while working out.
    • Talking with a workout partner - If you are doing less intense activities, you may be able to talk to a friend while you exercise.
    • Video Games - Most current generation games are 60+ hours long. Imagine how many calories you'd burn riding a stationary bike whenever the XBox is on.
    • Deep thinking - The repetitive nature of most cardiovascular exercises can free your mind to think about other things while you exercise.
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    Decide what activities you'd like to be able to do, and pack anything you need in your workout bag.
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    Be prepared for the environment you will be in:
    • If you work out in a loud gym, noise-canceling headphones will help you listen to music without disturbance and without turning up the volume too high.
    • If you are running, walking or cycling along city streets, be sure that you can hear approaching vehicles.
    • Don't talk to friends so loudly that you disturb others nearby.
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    Use your books, magazines or music as motivation. When you are starting to get tired, push through for a few more pages or another song.


  • Invest in an Mp3 player. Music is a great way to pass the time, as long as it doesn't distract you too much from what you are doing.
  • Audio books are excellent and purchasable over the internet. Books on tape can help pass the time the same way on a long stretch of road. Podcasts or other down-loadable content may be a great way to inject some passive fun into your active workout. The Teaching Company has a wide array of lectures on academic subjects.
  • You should not force yourself to do an exercise that you don't like. Find another sport that you like to do, such as running outside.
  • This may be a good time to compose poetry or lyrics since you are by nature taking on a rhythm of sorts in your strides.
  • Physical exercise is a great time to do critical thinking, since you've got your blood pumping and you're alert. Bring a small pad and paper and write down ideas that may pop into your head.
  • One of the best things to pass time while doing cardio is to vary the cardio rhythm so you stay focused on and don't get bored. For doing this, once you do a 5 minutes warm-up (or the time you need to warm up yourself) try doing cardio at a high intensity for a brief period (e.g., 60 seconds), then relax for a period to recover at low intensity (e.g., 30-60 seconds); repeat this cycle several times and then follow with a cool-down period. This type of interval work can also be a very effective training technique.
  • If you've been interested in learning a foreign language, here's the regularly scheduled study time you needed. Pimsleur, among other companies, has great interactive audio lessons that are well suited for learning pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary.
  • Get into a great and long TV series.


  • Don't overdo it. Too much puts strain on your muscles.
  • Safety is always a concern - don't do anything that would distract you too much from the task at hand, no matter how simple and repetitive it may seem.

Article Info

Categories: Cardio Exercises