We all know that music is a great motivator, but sometimes I need more than a beat to keep me on a machine. The elliptical and the stair stepper can get pretty dull if you use them day in and day out.
Sometimes, I like to hit the gym and listen to a podcast. Two of my favorites are This American Life and Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me! Both are NPR programs, and both keep me entertained and on the machine. I can listen to music in my noisy house or at work, but I can't focus on the spoken word in those situations. When it is a cardio machine and me, the podcast has my undivided attention — well, mostly. Plus I stay on the machine because I know if I don't listen to the entire program at the gym, there will be no other time to finish it.
If you are afraid that listening to NPR podcasts means you are an old fogey, then check out Podcast.net, a very thorough podcast directory. You should be able to find a podcast there that will interest you.
If you have a favorite podcast that you listen to when working out, tell me about it in the comment section below. Then maybe I can branch out past my NPR faves.