Spring is in the air, summer’s around the corner, and if you listen closely, book nerds everywhere are letting out a collective wistful sigh. Gone are the days of hibernating under the covers with a good book and steaming cocoa. Gone are the days when the polar vortex conspired to keep you from the gym, and shivering on your commute was all the cardio you needed. The world, like every book nerd’s former gym teacher, is telling you to “GO OUTSIDE AND MOVE.”
Sometimes, we bookish types just don’t want to. It’s not that we’re unathletic or unfit. We’re not lazy or unmotivated or unhealthy. We’re simply in the middle of a really good book and we can’t put it down.
So here, beloved bookworms, are 10 tips that let you nerd out while you work out!**
1. Download an audiobook MP3 to listen to while you run/walk. It’ll be a much-needed break from that playlist you haven’t updated since you added the Black Eyed Peas six years ago.
2. Read your book in plank position. It’s much more interesting than staring at the floor of the gym for the longest one minute of your life. Release from plank position only when it’s time to turn the page. To make this workout even harder, read out loud before turning the page.
3. Swap pain for pages! You can only read as many pages as crunches you do (or sit-ups or whatever torturous increment of ab workout you prefer). You want to know what happens at the end? That’s another 156 pages, so you better get crunching!
4. Make your book club an active one! Go on group bike rides or on a hike while discussing this month’s read. Take turns carrying the box of wine so everybody in the group gets an upper body workout, too!
5. Go stock up on your summer reading and do lunges around the store. To make this workout even harder, carry the books you’re going to buy! The longer your summer reading list, the more your glutes, quads, and hammies are going to shine when it’s beach time.
6. Stack a bunch of books and attempt to do squats while balancing them. If you’re especially talented, open the top book and commence reading while you punch out 100 squats.
7. Namaste for nerds! Pick a yoga position and maintain it while you read a page or two. Depending on your flexibility, experience, and level of pain tolerance, you can aim to read the entirety of Ulysses while maintaining the 8-Angle Pose, or just read some short stories in Child’s Pose. It’s up to you!
8. Reorganize all the books you have! For any tried and true book nerd, this is an all-day, rigorous, sweat-inducing activity that’s a full-body workout. It requires a lot of heavy lifting, squatting, running around the house, bending, stretching, and precariously balancing on step ladders.
10. Approach workouts like you do books! Try new things and mix it up. Testing out a different kind of workout, picking up a new sport, or joining a new class can be just as exciting as discovering a new book (but probably sweatier). Ask other people for recommendations, figure out what kind of workouts you like, and give yourself some time to ease into it. Whatever you do, keep it interesting and keep yourself engaged. We don’t read the same book day after day, so why should you zone out on the StairMaster day after day?
**Please note that the author of this post is not a certified trainer and is probably one of the clumsiest people you will ever meet, especially when she’s distracted by the book she’s reading.
Have you ever tried to squeeze some reading time into your workout?