Reading at the Gym…UGH by Jackie Kimmel
I used to believe that reading was an anywhere/anytime type of deal. I truly enjoy reading and like to read in unusual and unexpected places. However, I am a firm believer that people should not read while at the gym.
Recently, I have seen an influx of people trying to read novels on spin bikes, magazines on the elliptical and my personal favorite…a guy reading his tablet as he was doing squats with a bar bell. I am still amazed that 1) he was able to read and do his reps at the same time and 2) that he didn’t break his tablet when he dropped the bar bell after his set.
How is it beneficial to your workout or your reading regimen, if you aren’t dedicated to either task? I would love nothing more than to escape my workout with a good book, but then I wouldn’t be working out. Our culture has gloried multitasking, but isn’t reading and working out a little extreme?
Sparkpeople.com, Myfitnesspal.com, Oprah.com, Lifehacker.com and the New York Times are just a few sources who discourage reading (or working) while working out.
Injuries are the number one reason I refuse to read and workout at the same time. If I am focused on reading a good book or an interesting article, I might miss the fact that my shoes are untied and fall off the treadmill. I might subconsciously slow down which is counterproductive to a prolonged calorie burn.
Plus, how absorbed can I get in the plot and characters if I have to worry about how many miles I’ve reached or reps I’ve completed?
For those who don’t want to give up their stories, I have an alternative. AUDIOBOOKS! You can still listen to a great book, podcast or news show and continue to achieve your workout goal without the same level of distraction. And you get the added bonus of looking like you’re rocking out to the Rocky theme song!
So, for the first time ever, I am recommending that you put the books down. GASP. Focus on your book, focus on your workout. Just try to focus on them separately or through audiobooks.
What do you think about reading at the gym?
Jackie Kimmel is a writer who lives in Broomfield, Colorado. She is the former editor of several publications including: RV Trade Digest Magazine, The Morning Bridge, The Sky Report, Tusk Magazine and The Daily Titan Newspaper. She has loved reading since she was very young and prefers biographical, historical and chick-lit books. Follow Jackie on Twitter @Jkimmel2986.
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