So I finally went back to the gym this week after months of blowing it off. I had an excuse though, I didn't have car, so you can't yell at me. Anyway, we all know how daunting and torturous the gym can be, so I discovered a few tricks you can do to make the time so by faster, and to make the workout seem painless.

1. Time Yourself

A good way to drive yourself while you're doing cardio workouts (bike, treadmill, elliptical, stair master) is to time yourself. There's usually timers right on the machine that will help, but try this: when you have a set speed and rhythm going, give yourself a certain time to be done with your goal by. For example, if you have a set mileage to achieve, say one-three miles, then set a mental stopwatch, and try to reach your goal by the time is over. If you don't reach your goal, lower the distance or increase the time a bit until you are where you want to be.

Another trick I use is exercising to my music. I tell myself to be done with this or go at least this much by the time the song or album is done playing. It comes down to just you and the music, and depending on the type of song, it can also increase your speed, and you may not even notice because you're so focused on reaching your goal.

2. Entertain Yourself

There's nothing worse than a workout that seems like it will never end, so speed up the time by occupying your brain

 more. If your gym has a theater room and/or individual televisions on the machines, that's a great way to start. For me, however, as I listen to music on my Zune, I also play a game. This way you're doubling your distract ions and therefore you don't even realize you are working up a sweat. This works best on the bicycle. As I listened to my music and played Hexic, I got so into the game and forgot about my time and burning pain. But before I knew it, I had biked over six miles in just a short time!  I was so impressed with myself and for all of my hard work. Playing a game is also a good way to time yourself. When the game is over, so is that workout. Another distraction you could create for yourself is people watching and keeping your eye on those sweaty hotties!

3. Take A Break

This may seem contrary to my subject here, but it helps! Between doing cardio and the other machines I take a quick break to grab a drink or just sit for a minute. It's not healthy to go from one thing to the other non-stop, so take just a few minutes to catch yourself and your breath, even if you're like me and need your inhaler! Believe it or not, after a few minutes and after your endorphins kick in, you'll get a second wind and have a lot more energy, so finishing your workout won't take forever and won't kill you.

I know all of my tips work, because I use them each time I visit the gym. I like it go fast and seem painless, especially since I have to force myself to go. Props to you if you actually enjoy going, but I just wish I could eat everything I wanted and not have to make up for it, as I'm sure we all do.

Try these tips next time you go, and I'll be surprised if they don't improve your workout even a little bit!

Do you have any tricks or tips you use while at the gym? How did you come up with them and in what way is it helpful?