Getting any sort of enjoyment from workouts takes a lot of time and effort. The transition from couch potato (or desk chair potato) to an active and balanced human being is a time of pure pain, frustration, and withdrawal.

After all, consistently getting out and exercising is hard enough without your mind and body screaming out about limits and limited time only tacos. That’s the time when distractions and incentives are desperately needed. Incentives that don’t include calories, that is.

Music can be a great distraction and may also provide the temporary motivation needed to persevere through a workout. However, I’ve found it difficult to maintain the distraction long enough to feel truly accomplished.

So before your next run or gym session, find an audiobook to keep your mind engaged and off your workout.

When I first began my own weight loss journey, I found that listening to books that stimulated deep thinking helped make a difference. I stopped worrying about how long I had been going or how much I was sweating and simply lost myself in the book.

Your selection will depend upon taste and interests, but I started out listening to non-fiction. I’d like to tell you I was listening to Michael Lewis’s The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, which examines the stock market crash of 2008. But I was interested in other things at the time and began with The Masters of Doom, which tells the story of the founders of id Software, developer of video game series Doom.

You may find yourself listening to a Steve Jobs biography or George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series; all that matters is you find something that will hold your interest and distract your thoughts during workouts.

Looking to form good habits? HackCollege’s Robbie Williford has a list of apps that will help you do just that.

Image: Ed Yourdon