How To Not Get Bored During Cardio When You’re Counting The Seconds On The Clock

Cardio can be boring AF. I can't even count the number of times I've hopped on the treadmill and immediately covered the dashboard with my sweatshirt so I wouldn't be longingly gazing at the ticking clock the entire time. As much as I loathe it, I try to include at least a little bit of this heart-healthy exercise in my workout routine here and there, which means it's 100 percent necessary to figure out how to not get bored during cardio, so I can actually enjoy myself during that time, instead of dreading every single second of it.

Look, even if you're someone who genuinely enjoys running, you're bound to get bored with your routine from time to time. It's important to change things up every now and then, even if you love what you're doing, because sooner or later, the monotony hits, and it becomes that much harder to stay committed to your workout routine.

Whether you're picking an awesome playlist to amp yourself up for your elliptical session, or grabbing a set of free weights before you take on the treadmill or pound the pavement, variety is truly the spice of life, and your cardio workouts are sure to get way more entertaining with these simple tweaks.

The next time you have the urge to peel back the edge of your sweatshirt to see how much time has elapsed during your treadmill sesh (ugh, has it really only been three minutes?), try implementing one of these five cardio hacks to make the remainder of your time fly by and keep your workout as fun as possible.

1Pump Yourself Up With A Killer Playlist

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Putting together an awesome and motivating cardio playlist filled with all of your favorite songs will not only make your cardio sessions way less boring, but it'll probably even make you look forward to the workout — for once, right?

BTW, there's actual science behind this, people! A 2017 study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences revealed that listening to music during a difficult cardio workout can help you enjoy the exercise more, and it can even make you more likely to want to do the same workout again and again. Uh, craving another half hour on the treadmill after you've already completed your initial jog? I thought that was impossible, but hey, science doesn't lie, fam.

Pro tip: Put "Sober Up" by AJR on your workout playlist. That jam will make you soar through your cardio routine — just trust me on this one.

2Mix Things Up With Some Free Weights

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Whether you're doing your cardio inside or outside, running (or even walking) with some dumbbells in hand is a surefire way to spice things up, challenge your body, and make some major upper-body #gains all at once.

According to LIVESTRONG, if you're not super familiar with this workout, it's important to make sure you're really focusing on proper form, so you don't subconsciously hunch your back and subject your body to injury.

3Just HIIT It, Girl

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High-intensity interval training is efficient AF as a workout method. It doesn't take you a ton of time, and as far as keeping things interesting during cardio, that's a given with any kind of HIIT workout, but it's especially the case with the above cardio routine.

Matt Thorsen, an exercise science expert and product specialist at SportsArt, created a 20-minute HIIT workout designed exclusively for Elite Daily readers, and trust me, it'll be impossible to get bored during this routine. According to Thorsen, this workout should be accessible for runners at all levels, so get to it, girl.

4Listen To A Fascinating Podcast

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Personally, psyching myself up for cardio with interesting podcasts has become my new favorite way to lure myself onto the elliptical, or pump myself up enough to throw on my sneakers and jog around my neighborhood.

Podcasts like Serial or Invisibilia will keep those wheels turning in your brain, so you won't even be thinking about all the work your legs are doing to help you reach your fitness goals. Before you know it, you'll have completed your cardio workout for the day, sans dread or boredom.

5Try "Fartleks"

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I will forever laugh at this name like the 12-year-old I secretly am — judge me, I dare you. Real talk, though: "Fartleks" are an awesome way to add some speed-work into an otherwise routine run. According to Greatist, the term is Swedish for “speed play," and it basically means sprinting as hard as you can for a couple of seconds before returning to a normal pace.

On the treadmill, you can try cranking up the speed on your dashboard, and if you're running outside, you can experiment with sprinting until you reach a stop sign, or even the end of the sidewalk. Either way, I think you're going to be shocked by just how much you'll fall in love with cardio now.