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Fit Tip: Put Down the Reading Materials

Time on a cardio machine can be mundane, so many of us will grab a book or magazine to pass the time. I personally can't read while working out, but I know many people can't work out without reading.

If you are a reader, consider putting down your reading materials for a few workouts each week and instead really focus on what your body is doing. After a few sessions, you'll probably find that you're able to get results faster because a focused workout is typically a better workout. One of the best ways to do this but still keep your brain interested is by adding intervals to your cardio session. I have found that it's really hard to focus on anything other than making it to the recovery period during interval training, so it's likely that you won't even miss your tabloid magazine.

Side note: If you simply cannot step on a cardio machine without reading, then by all means, read — I don't want you to get completely discouraged! Just try to find ways to focus your exercise after the cardio is done.


ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
the only machine that i'm able to read on while i work out is the stationary bike, and i think that it's probably a good thing since that's something that you're not bouncing around on. otherwise, when i'm on the elliptical, i can't even think about reading. i would get a headache. i have actually put a book on my iPod and i 'read' that way and it's kind of fun sometimes when i'm not in the mood for the same music.
lemamike lemamike 8 years
I definitely agree about intervals! I get so bored on the treadmill the time seems to drag on. But, i've started running for 5 minutes then walking for 5 minutes for 30-45 minutes. The time goes by really fast because you look in terms of 5 minute intervals rather than the whole 30-45 minutes. Plus my trainer said it's good to do intervals because you actually burn more calories since your heart rate is going in intervals as well. As for reading..i can't do it. I just need a good playlist to get me through my 5 periods of running.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I only read when I'm on the stationary bike because it's the "easy" part of my workout. I don't read during the really tough parts of the workout though...I focus and pedal really hard!
cali_student cali_student 8 years
I agree with komler... I tried reading National Geographic once and homework another time and it didn't work because I couldn't focus on articles longer than half a page. Plus, gym time is the only time I indulge in fitness and celebrity gossip magazines so it motivates me a little to do some stationary biking for 15 min to warm up if the gym has a new batch of magazines.
komler komler 8 years
I like to read fitness/health magazines whenever I run. The articles/blurbs are short enough to make a glance down fulfilling and interesting, yet, I can also focus on my run and don't get bored.
kristints kristints 8 years
I read sometimes, I like to bring my Shape or Self magazines with me to the gym because it motivates me. I also sometimes bring my iPhone and read Fitsugar while working out!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
if i dare try to read on a cardio machine i'd probably hurt myself. i can barely walk normally without tripping over my feet and i tend to slip out of the ellipitcal platform. . . oiye. wouldn't be good at all. i use music to distract and motivate me at the same time with cardio so i prefer that. at home, when i had my treadmill, i'd watch TV and instead of fast forwarding thru the commercials i'd do hard core sprints through them.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Yeah I couldn't imagine being able to focus on words when i'm really working out. Even just walking, I move too much to focus on that. I would probably get motion sickness!
alikat07 alikat07 8 years
Whenever I try to read, it doesn't work out. Using audiobooks is a great idea, thanks christie!
katyharper katyharper 8 years
I can't read on any cardio machines, because I'd get so engrossed in what I was reading that I'd look down and be almost at a stand still!
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
The kind of workouts I do don't allow for any kind of reading or concentrating besides working out! I don't do excessive cardio, only maximum 20 minutes of high intensity interval training, along with a strength routine. So I'm usually out of the gym within 45 minutes, it's fabulous.
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I have my own elliptical, so I keep it in front of the t.v. I just zone out with the t.v. at 5:30 in the morning!
christie christie 8 years
I listen to audiobooks, much easier than trying to catch a book everytime it tries to slip.
foxie foxie 8 years
The gyms on base don't have air conditioning. Instead they have giant industrial fans blowing every which way, which makes for an impossible-to-read environment. =(
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