How to Stay Motivated When Doing Cardio- Turn off the Timer

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

It is easy to get bored when using the cardio machine- especially if you spend about 20 or 30 minutes doing exactly the same movement- either running, jogging, cycling, stair climbing, etc. Do you find your eyes straying to the timer to see how long you are on the machine and how many calories that you have burned?

Do you find yourself thinking, ‘yikes, why does the time pass so slowly? What… still another 15 minutes to go?’ or ‘geez, I need to continue this exercise for another 10 minutes to burn to my targeted calories’.

Sometimes you feel tired and bored – and manage to successfully talk yourself out of using the cardio machine. It is no wonder so many people drop out or managed to successfully talk themselves into skipping gym-coz it is the same drill over and over again. And in a gym, there’s probably at most about 6 types of varieties of cardio machine.

The solution? Why not attend a cardio class? Most gyms have them.

But then, what if you are like me, who do not fancy attending class or like to work out at own time and pace?

I have a suggestion for you- it’s very simple- turn off the timer indicator. Certain gyms are already equipped with high end cardio machines that display the timer, calories burned, etc – all on the same screen. But in older gyms, you can still find cardio machines that do not have the calorie indicator- but allows you the option to set your goals using 3 modes- calories, distance and time.

Normally, people will neglect these machines because everyone wants to know the calories burned- that’s why the machines are always being used. Now, I find the older versions to be a real gem. Because these machines are seldom used, I need not have to content myself with greasy sweat stains at the handles that were left by previous users. Sometimes, the higher end machines had sweat stains on their screens and there is even smell- I find it a bit uncomfortable exercising with the sweat smell from the previous user pervading my nostrils.

You can set the machine by pressing on the ‘Calories’ under the Goal section of the machine. Then select your goal calories by moving the up and down arrow and once you are satisfied with the goal, press enter.  A short while later, the machine will ask you to enter your weight- move the up and down arrow till the display indicate your correct weight- this reading is more accurate than just using the machine that display the calories burn (without factoring your weight). And exercise away.

You do not need to care about the time since the machine will probably display the time every few minutes or so. It is surprising that once you stop looking at the time (and keep wishing the time will pass faster) that you do not feel like agony on the machine. All you look at is the target calories burned- and you know in order to see the calories burned going up faster, you have to exert more energy. You get more motivated that way and the next thing you know- you have been on the machine for 20 minutes.

If you are unsure about how to set the machine to display the goal as calories burned instead of time, ask the gym staff for assistance.

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