The Harry Potter Workout
The other day, I came across a blog post by a guy who’d lost 60 pounds while trying to listen to audiobook versions of the entire Harry Potter series.
That was the gist of his workout: He’d listen to a few chapters at a time, while running on the treadmill. And, within six months, he’d finished the books and was 60 pounds lighter.
This won’t be up everyone’s alley. But, nevertheless, here are a few arguments in favor of working out with an audiobook–and a link where you can download one for free.
#1. It’s Not Just Harry Potter
This likely goes without saying, but there’s a wealth of books out there: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Lies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, Game Of Thrones, Bossypants, The 4 Hour Workweek…there’s probably something out there that you’ve been meaning to read. And this might make for a way to catch up on that, while getting in shape.
#2. Authors Reading Their Own Work
Reading is great, of course. I have friends who are adamant that listening to audiobooks is “cheating,” since reading is active and listening is passive. But, there are definitely books–particularly those read by the authors themselves–where I’ve gotten more from listening than I probably would have from reading. (Hearing Frank McCourt’s Irish accent and personal emphases throughout Angela’s Ashes is the best example I can offer.)
My dad’s got a substantial commute to work–nearly an hour each way. But he plays audiobooks in the car and looks forward to each drive because it’s a chance to pick up wherever he left off in the story. I presume this would work the same with a workout. You could leverage the book’s plot to help you stick to your routine. Namely, you’re less likely to put off exercising, if you’re dying to know what happens next.
#4. For The Multi-Tasker
The other thing my dad likes about audiobooks is that they give him the sense that the time in his car isn’t just being lost. Before he got into this phase, he’d just listen to the radio. And while he didn’t mind that–he could have been (and is now) finishing 2-4 books a month: business books, adventure books, books about the kings of England. On a practical basis, they keep him from dozing off at the wheel. But, he comes home with stuff on his mind: ideas on how to do his job more effectively, plot twists that caught him off-guard, anecdotes about adultery in the 1500s. This might just be a phase. But, he was never this jazzed when he spent an hour listening to Adult Contemporary on the way home.
#5. The Spice Of Life
With a workout, with dinner, with most anything–a little variety goes a long way. I don’t think folks who exercise to music will give that up entirely for books. But, audiobooks might make for change of pace–literally–especially when your motivation is flagging.
This probably goes without saying, but most anything you can get as a book on CD or tape, you can also get as a book on MP3–and just toss it on your Ipod, or Zune or whatever it is that you use to play music.
#7 Try One Free
Emusic’s giving away single book downloads to folks who try their audiobook service, which might make for an easy way to see if this is up your alley.
Here are few samples (about half of which are read by the authors themselves, if you’re interested):
And, here’s the link, where you can download a free one..