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Exercise Q&A: Breaking the boredom barrier

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Q: I’ve recently changed gyms. However, I’m discovering the new gym and I are a poor fit. I need more variety. At my former gym, I had access to a pool, indoor running track and group classes as well as the usual assortment of cardio machines and weights. At the new gym I’m left with only the (admittedly excellent selection of) cardio machines and weights. I’m not able to do much cardio outside due to exercise-induced asthma. Do you have any tips for staying motivated on a cardio machine for the next nine months, until my contract expires? Staring at a wall for 30 minutes at a time while I’m sweating my tuches off is starting to get irritating and uninspiring.

A: Sounds like you and your gym could use some couples therapy, and I happen to know just the guy to help: Kevin Owens, who teaches Treadmill Race Training at the Tysons Corner (Va.) Equinox. He says he can convert anyone into a machine maniac. “Most people who exercise indoors are bored out of their minds, but of course I know how to make it interesting,” he boasts.

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