How Do You Distract Yourself From The Agony Of Exercise?

How Do You Distract Yourself From The Agony Of Exercise?

Exercise doesn’t have to suck, but if you want to get into really great shape, you have to work pretty hard. Some people listen to music or podcasts to distract themselves. How do you distract yourself from the agony of exercise?

Picture: WIlliam Perugini/Shutterstock

Not all exercise involves riding a stationary bike, running on a treadmill and lifting weights, of course. Plenty of activities combine something fun with a workout. If that’s how you enjoy your exercise, share that as well.


  • How Do You Distract Yourself From The Agony Of Exercise? Yeah, well if it’s gonna hurt that bad then you can keep it! I did plenty of exercise in the Army, so you’ll need a couple of horses to drag me out for it now.

  • I love trail running for just this reason. You’re so busy feeling like Rambo running through the jungle, dodging branches and leaping logs, that you don’t even notice how hard it actually is. Great fun!

  • I’ve tried the music and it’s rubbish, you still know you are exercising.
    I need to distract myself with something I have to think about to enjoy; music does not cut it.
    I have recumbent bike in front of my HTPC with a logitech G13 and good mouse. I can knock out anywhere between 15 to 50km and not even realise it.
    Guitar hero works great as does Path of Exile. FPS I find myself stopping pedaling when it gets tense. Just started Tomb Raider and it’s working well.
    I believe there was a study done where kids in hospitals were given DS’s and their painkillers were dropped dramatically as a result.
    I was 102kgs before my new exercise gaming setup and now hold a steady 85. You have to do something interesting enough to forget your exercising. Guitar hero I find I ride even harder when the game gets harder.

  • Spotify + PocketCasts + Wollongong’s great bike track make it actually fun to ride, except for when people tell you to speed up. In which case, just turn up the music.

  • Umm, I did 31km on a half icy half slippery mud trail today on my mtb. I can guarantee I did it get bored. Was everythng I could do,just to stay upright! Point is, find some fun exercise (for you) and don’t worry about entertainment.

  • cycling & running in gyms are typically the most tedious exercises as they are slowest to release endorphins/dopamine. Mix it up a bit and do a few compound exercises as they tend to get the body pumping a lot more. When you look at gym junkies they tend to do a lot of big movement exercises because it feels great afterwards.

  • learn to love exercise.

    i do medium course triathlons (2km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run), i train 12-16 hours a week. training is a challenging and miserable experience at first, everything hurts, it is hot, sweaty long and tedious until it doesn’t. you adapt, you’re preferences change and you begin to love it (and if you don’t endurance sports aren’t for you).

    you get into a trance-like state and just watch the world pass you, it becomes a sort of meditation, where your body does the work while your mind dreams.

    though this only works when you are outside, the treadmill or stationary bike are generally pretty tough, so i do short workouts with crazy intensity so i can get them over with.

  • I think this is largely a problem for people who are very new to the gym and people who do very high endurance work (but that’s more of a boredom than agony thing really).

    Newbies aren’t psychologically or physiologically ready for the pain so it feels like agony to them.

    If you are really pushing yourself to agony (aka a tabata protocol to proper intensity), there’s probably not that much you can do except engage every bit of will you have.

    Personally, music and my own over inflated ego are usually enough.

  • I’m going to quote David in Prometheus quoting Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia here:

    “The trick, Mr Potter, is not minding that it hurts.”

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