As much as I strive to be fit and eat healthy, I really don’t care for going to the gym. I feel empowered to make this confession by remembering that I’m not alone – there are lots of people out there who try to eat right and be active, but who just don’t enjoy making the gym part of their daily or weekly routine. But I digress. What I really wanted to share with you is something that helps me make it through the gym workouts that I dislike so much.

When I follow through with my plans and actually go to the gym, I find that it’s more enjoyable if I keep my mind busy with something other than my workout. My gym has a long wall of televisions and I can plug my earbuds into a treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike, or other cardio machine and listen to any of the television programs that are on. It could be just me, but watching an episode of Judge Judy or the latest headlines on CNN doesn’t really do anything for my workout.

weightsI’ve tried reading at the gym, downloading e-books onto my tablet. This was definitely more effective in keeping my mind occupied while I was working out, but it can be challenging to read while bouncing around on the various cardio machines, so if you decide to give this a try, I recommend it for a low-impact session on a cardio machine.

For me personally, the best way to get through a gym workout is with a great playlist on my iPod. They say (whoever “they” are) you should incorporate a variety of music genres, alternating male and female voices to keep it interesting. I say listen to whatever motivates you to keep moving. Listening to something with a strong beat helps keep you moving, especially when you start to get tired. Pop, rock and classic rock genres are especially great for a workout playlist because the songs often have a strong rhythmic beat.

When I find songs I think will be great for a workout mix, I always check to see if they’re available in Freegal first – why pay $1.29 a song if you can get it for free with a library card? My workout playlist is always being tweaked, but I thought I’d share some of favorites that I’ve found on Freegal so you can download them and try them for yourself:

Troublemaker – Olly Murs feat. Flo RidaJustin Timberlake

50 Ways to Say Goodbye – Train

SexyBack – Justin Timberlake

I’m Outta Love – Anastacia

Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf

Good Girl – Carrie Underwood

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars

Blow – Ke$ha

Fighter – Christina Aguilera

Black Betty – Ram JamElle King

Ex’s & Oh’s – Elle King

Gots to Get Her – Blake Lewis

Circus – Brittney Spears

Black or White – Michael Jackson

Brokenhearted – Karmin

Last Night – The Strokes

Yeah! – Usher

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Funhouse – P!nkWalk the Moon

Winner – Jamie Foxx

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson

Back in Black – AC/DC

Fight Song – Rachel Platten

Sweeter – Gavin Degraw

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon