How do you stay on an elliptical machine for more than 30 minutes?

Update: This post was first posted on on Feb 17, 2009. Still don’t like that elliptical machine and we’ve since bought a treadmill–and updated my playlist.

I don’t call it a “dreadmill” because I actually like it; however, when I’m on it, I keep thinking of all the more important things I ought to be doing. I just have to convince myself that being healthy is as (or more) important than mopping up the mud that the dogs brought in.


Because my cholesterol count seems to have a direct relationship with my weight, and because I am, embarrassingly enough, SIXTY pounds heavier than I ought to be, I’ve started exercising again.

I had a treadmill that I used sporadically for the past 7 years (?), and it was very easy to jump on for ½ an hour while I watched TV or listened to the iPod. Then Bill messed up his knee and decided that he needed a more low-impact machine. He bought a Precor elliptical—and moved my treadmill out of the living room. (He claims I never used it anyway. BAH!)

I really tried to love the elliptical as much as my treadmill, but at first I could barely do 5 minutes before I was ready to pass out! Eventually, I figured out to change the settings (he had it on max resistance and max incline!) so that I can now last a bit longer, depending on my mood. And my mood is greatly improved if I listen to dance music while I exercise.

I downloaded some songs in iTunes and made a new playlist. I managed to get on the elliptical every day this week, so far (Sun-Tues). The first 20 minutes about kill me, and then I have a semi-slow song to catch my breath. I found it’s easier if I close my eyes (with both hands hanging on!) and pretend I’m dancing. I went for 30 minutes today, which, for me, is great. Below are the songs I listen to while I exercise, which I chose for the tempo/beat, and for the words.

  • Lose Yourself, Eminem: (Slow start, to get warmed up) “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment, You own it, you better never let it go, You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, This opportunity comes once in a lifetime” (You only get one life, apparently.)
  • Sexy Back, Justin Timberlake: (It has slow and fast parts to get the burn going) “Get your sexy on, go ahead be gone with it.”
  • Jerk it Out, Ceasars: (fast beat) “Wind me up Put me down Start me off and watch me go I’ll be running circles around you sooner than you know”
  • Work That, Mary J Blige: (good steady beat–I’m warmed up now) “There’s so many of you girls, I hear you been runnin’ from the beautiful queen that you could be coming…I just wanna be myself, don’t sweat girl, be yourself. …Work your thing out…work what you got.” (Sorry, Mary, but I’m sweatin’ now!)
  • Womanizer, Circus, Brittany Spears
  • Disturbia, Rhianna (slightly faster beat–can’t sing along as easily) “What’s wrong with me now? Why do I feel like this? I’m going crazy now.”
  • Don’t Stop the Music: Rhianna: (I have to close my eyes and imagine I’m dancing. I might pass out if I look at my heart rate.) “Please don’t stop the music, I gotta get my body movin’ shake the stress away, and now we’re rockin’ on the dance floor acting naughty”
  • Harder to Breathe, Maroon 5: (Time to slow it down–it really is harder to breathe) “You drain me dry and make me wonder why I’m even there anyone out there, ’cause it’s getting harder and harder to breathe”
  • Apologize, Timbaland: (Slower, time to cool down)

Many others that I never stay on long enough to get to unless I skip songs!!