Last year I got through over 50 books on subjects I never thought I would have time to read. The year before was 40 books. Here’s how you can read while exercising.
My First Try at Exercising and Reading
Years ago, I got on a treadmill and tried to listen to an audiobook and picked the absolute wrong one. The reader’s voice echoed and was thin like listening to someone on an old phone. I figured that they just weren’t for me.
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Then I hitched a ride with a friend, and he was listening to an audiobook by Brandon Sanderson called Mistborn. I noticed that the reader spoke clearly and changed his voice with every character so that there was no confusion as to who was speaking.
The whole experience was like watching a movie.
Reading and Running
I downloaded that very same book I heard my friend playing and I loved it. I stayed in the gym longer, I didn’t have any trouble wanting to do more cardio. I had found the mental stimulation that I wanted.
See, long distance cardio is boring to me. I’ve got to keep my mind occupied. This was the perfect solution. And it FINALLY worked.
Reading Books While Exercising
This can be done. I’ve done it. The recumbent bike is a wonderful place for that.
You could also prop it up on an elliptical machine or a stair stepper, but you are then possibly doing more reading than exercising. But if this gets you exercising more than you were before, then by all means, go for it.
How To Get Started Reading and Working Out
There are several ways to get started. Audible offers a free book to get started. Or you can get hooked up with an app like Libby that will always be free, it just isn’t as user-friendly and the options are much, much less.
You download these to your phone, hook up your earbuds and you’re set.
It’s Not Just for the Gym
The best part of this is that it doesn’t just have to be “Read while you’re working out.” It can be while you’re washing your car, cleaning out your garage, mowing the lawn, doing the dishes, gardening or any other activity that doesn’t quite take up all of your brain cells.
I listen to audiobooks all the time and now I look forward to doing mindless tasks such as picking weeds. You will be able to hear some seriously great stories that you never would have listened to otherwise.
My Audiobook Recommendations
Not everyone will like my choices, and I don’t expect to please all of you. These are just some of my favorites that kept me coming back for more. Some are funny, some are serious, and some I have listened to over and over. Take them as suggestions. Find something you like and you’ll be hooked.
After working on a bunch of English Literature books and classics, I hit the non-fiction hard.
I’ve always wanted to know about how businesses were built so I listened to the stories of Elon Musk, Bob Iger, Steve Jobs and Phil Knight.
I listened to small timers and big timers. Once you find the right mindless activities to occupy yourself with and you find the right book, you’re set. People will then start to see you as the most active person on planet earth.
You and I know that you’re just really interested in the book you’re reading.
The Biggest Life Hack Yet To Be Discovered
At no point in history could this be done unless you had a person right next to you talking. You are literally able to work (either for yourself or for someone else) and read a book.
Reading books makes you very, very smart. It gives you ideas that you would not otherwise have. You’ll see business opportunities that others miss.
If you’re interested in being trained in a certain field, you can read three books on people who’ve gone that route and see if you want to do it or not. That single action alone could save you years of work and wasted effort.
“Books Are the Cheat Codes to Life”
I once heard the phrase “Books are the cheat codes to life.”
It is totally true.
Let other people make your mistakes and tell you what they got from them. Most of the time it is helpful. Sometimes you can see through it and tell that they just didn’t try hard enough. But, in general, the information is super helpful. Even if it just gets you thinking.
Sometimes it is good to listen to your grandpa.
But imagine getting the wisdom from your grandpa while you’re also killing it in the gym.
You Will Be the Absolute Top of Your Field
If you’re applying for a job, let’s say, in a marketing field.
You put on your resume that you’ve been working as such and such and you’ve dealt with so and so. But then you also put the books that you’ve read in the past year related to what you practice.
If you’re applying to anyone with any credibility, they read books. If you hit a few key books that the person really cares about, you’ve got the job.
It’s kind of a no-brainer. “This prospective employee went to school and did the bare minimum to pass. This employee graduated and also gave me a list of 30 books, 20 of which I absolutely love and consider the core of marketing.” Who do you think is going to get hired?
Reading Is Truly a Lost Art
If you want to get in really, really good communication with someone, tell them you’ve read a book that they love. It is like a secret club and they just found out you’re a member.
This “secret cult of book readers” is what makes book clubs look so goofy to outsiders. There’s nothing really interesting in sight (to an outsider) to justify all of this intense interest.
But once you really see the value in it, you get into it. You start to see the amount of hours you saved yourself by not going the route of picking stocks. Reading a book helped you connect with your boss and get a raise at your job. So now you’re making $10,000 more per year because of this “silly” book club.
Exercises That Go Great With Audiobooks
When I’m working out on the rowing machine, an audiobook can pull me through.
When I’m going for a run or even a light jog, this is my go-to method of getting into it.
In fact, whether I’m cycling, ellipticating, walking, running, hiking or just taking a walk in the morning to get the blood flowing, I can usually thoroughly enjoy the audiobook playing.
Sometimes I’ll actually crave going to the gym so that I can hear the next part of the story – whether it is fiction or non-fiction. Imagine wanting to go to the gym instead of having to force yourself.
I’ve even done full strength workouts with dumbbells and barbells while listening to the audiobook. I’ll pause it when I’m lifting heavy but there’s no reason it can’t be going otherwise. It’s great for the warm up and cool down and little snippets in between.
If you’re doing a team workout or if you’re working with another person and spotting each other, it’s not going to work. Just be social at that point.
Don’t Get Discouraged
There are all types of audioboooks. Some really do suck. Some are really great.
Listen to a preview of the audiobook, read some reviews. The quality of the recording actually matters a lot. There is also an enormous amount of skill involved with the acting. Yes – acting. These readers are full-on actors.
Talk to other audiobook readers. Get recommendations.
I may be letting out how much of a nerd I am by saying this, but: Your life will never be the same.
Combine Exercise and Reading and You Won’t Regret It
You can absolutely take the sedentary activity of reading to a whole new level of physical activity. Just think of how much you can boost your mind and body at the same time.
This is a wonderful life hack that has gotten me very far and I felt that I needed to share.
It is also a way to get you to want to go to the gym. It makes it easy to go day in and day out and really make progress on your own fitness.
No need to beat a dead horse here. You get the point.
I’ve given you the information and that’s more than anyone did for me.
Now go get smart and rule the world.