by CosMed Guest Blogger, Michelle Pearl

The art of distraction sometimes is an invaluable tool when you are trying to motivate yourself through exercise. Here are some tricks you might want to try to keep your mind off the activities happening below your neck:

Woman exercising in front of beach

Finding it hard to motivate yourself to exercise? Choosing a place with beautiful scenery or intriguing settings to distract yourself during your workout may prove invaluable in getting yourself up and out the door to exercise.

~ If you walk, run or bicycle outdoors, choose places with beautiful scenery and/or interesting sites that you can view during your workout.

~ Of course, many people find that listening to music or watching T.V. can take their minds off their muscles. You also might want to try disassociate yourself from the exercise by having a conversation (hopefully with someone other than yourself) or reading.

~ If you choose a form of exercise that is mentally challenging and makes you think (such as dance fitness, martial arts or aerobics) you will find that you often forget about how hard you are working while you are working hard to flex the metaphoric muscle between your ears.

Sometimes you might find that some of your best motivators come in the form of the mind games that you play with yourself.  Even though I usually don’t work out until the evening, I put on my exercise clothes first thing in the morning after my shower. That way, at the end of the day when it is time to go to exercise, I just get in the car and go.  Now, I realize that not everyone can walk around in exercise clothing all day, but you can come up with your own creative motivational tricks.

~ Maybe your first stop before you leave work will be the restroom where you change into your workout clothes before you take a step outside.

~ If you are planning morning workouts, set your gym bag to block your bedroom door as in intentional barrier to remind you of your commitment.

~ Recruit your spouse or best buddy as a workout partner so that you can motivate each other to follow through with an exercise plan.

~ Block off the time in your daily planner and then put as much importance on your appointment with yourself to exercise as you would with any other meeting.

About the author:

Michelle Pearl

Michelle Pearl, CPT, GFI, LWMC is a fitness expert, entrepreneur, former award-winning newspaper columnist and the author of Wake Up, You Are Probably Never Going to Look Like That; How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit. For more information visit: or visit her video blog at