reading while at the gym, really?

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  • csuhar
    csuhar Posts: 779 Member
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    My mom takes her Kindle to the gym and I see older men reading the Newspaper quite often. The people who do this are probably aiming to keep their mind off the fact that they are in fact exercising. I don't see it as a fail, I see it as a win. The could easily be doing the same thing, but sitting down. At least they're moving.

    don't you think they would have better progress/results if they concentrated on their routine for an hour?

    I think it would depend on what their goals are. If their goal is to simply be doing something physical, then they're meeting that goal.

    If their goals are more focused on performance and progression, then I'd say it could be an issue for them, especially if it's distracting them. If they're in a rest phase, it doesn't matter if their eyes are in a book or looking around the gym.

    Personally, it never occurred to me to bring reading material for a calisthenics / weightlifting workout, and the stationary bike was the only cardio I could do while reading something at the same time. So I had a book with me when I first started on the stationary bikes, but once I transitioned to treadmills or track / outdoor running for my cardio, the only book I brought with me was my log book.
  • melaniebuxton21
    melaniebuxton21 Posts: 7 Member
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    Concentrating too much on what others are doing is the only thing that will take the intensity out of your workout on this occasion.
  • sc10985
    sc10985 Posts: 347 Member
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    If I'm on a stationary bike, sure. Not really able to read anywhere else, and the stationary bike for me is when I need to get blood flow to continue in my legs after a particularly strenuous lower day.

    But to each his own. Everybody seems to be reading something at my gym.

    I could see the bike..

    the tablet thing really blew my mind...LOL

    Maybe the person had their workout routine on the tablet.
    I've used my phone to run my routine. A tablet would do the same thing.

    But all n all, I say to each his own. I don't judge anyone in the gym and hope I get the same courtesy.

    Do you think people who watch the TV's and people who are listening to music in the gym are not trying hard enough either?
    Just curious as to which electronics are okay and which are not.

    music approved...a good play list will get you through any day ..

    everything else = epic fail/not trying hard enough

    These are YOUR words aren't they??? Only music is acceptable, everything else=epic fail. And as for the 50lb comment, well that just made you sound arrogant and a bit stupid.

    i was just providing some advice as to how to lose more...that is arrogant?

    Actually what you said was the farthest thing from advice.

    "Maybe she would have lost 50 if she put down the kindle?"

    What you stated was an asinine assumption based on zero facts, punctuated with a question mark so it appeared innocent. Nice try though!!
  • Rambo529
    Rambo529 Posts: 170 Member
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    I used to take my textbooks into the gym when I was in college. Only when I would bike though. I had to actually concentrate when lifting, so no books on those days. Now that I'm not in college anymore, I don't read while doing cardio. I do short intense cardio work though, instead of longer bike rides (knee injury, had to improvise what could be done effectively without screwing it up worse). I've seen some people when on the bikes reading, but not often. I guess as long as they are doing something and not just sitting on a machine to read I don't really care.
  • aliceb39
    aliceb39 Posts: 84 Member
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    Wow--lots of comments on this topic! I read the first page, and don't have time to read the rest. If I'm not reading my Kindle while on my stat bike, I get tired after 10 - 15 minutes; I can only go that long when I count to 1000 down-pedals on my right foot. But if I read my Kindle, I can go 20 - 30 minutes without even realizing it. I'm pedaling just as fast, but it just makes the time fly by.
  • PrettyPearl88
    PrettyPearl88 Posts: 368 Member
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    I saw someone on a treadmill reading a book today, and it kind of got me to thinking. If you are on a treadmill running/walking whatever, how can you concentrate on reading a book? Another person brings in a tablet and sets it on ground in front of them when working with some of the machines...weird..

    In my humble opinion, if you are reading book or watching a tablet while at gym then said person is not working out hard enough and/or are not concentrating on routine.

    I mean we can't go to the gym for an hour without brining a book or tablet, really?

    curious what the rest of you think ....read/tablet = yes, no, or epic fail ....

    My opinion? Don't judge! It's not your business what other people do while they're on the cardio machines at the gym. If it works for them, great! I simply applaud people for making the time and effort to be healthy, no matter how they do it!

    Some people like to read while doing cardio and can concentrate. For those people, it's enjoyable to do some light, fun reading at the gym and distracts them from getting bored with their routine. And some people HAVE to read at the gym; they REALLY "can't go to the gym for an hour without a book or tablet" because they have extremely busy schedules and have required reading or studying for work or school that they have to do. Don't judge. You don't know other people's lives. For some people, the only way they can even make time for the gym is to do such multitasking.

    I say all of this because I'm a law student. I often bring books and do some studying at the gym. The elliptical and the stationary bike are the only machines I can study on though, the bike being the best. My concentration isn't at 100% on my reading or my cardio, but I still get a fairly decent workout and a portion of my reading done for classes. I am so busy in law school that many days, I honestly can't afford to take an hour break to focus solely on my workout at the gym. The only way I can even get my workouts in many days is to study at the same time. It's better than nothing!
  • nathalier71
    nathalier71 Posts: 570 Member
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    I prefer than than people who can't spend more than 2 seconds without their cell phones =) At least it doesn't disrupt anyone else around and therefor not disrespectful either.
  • Amyp7777
    Amyp7777 Posts: 79
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    When I belonged to a gym, I would walk at an incline 4mph or lower for about half an hour before weights. If I didn't have a magazine to look at, I'd be watching the clock the whole time. I would have trouble really reading an article if going faster, but even looking at the pics gives me something to focus on. And if it's a fitness magazine, the pics are a good motivator.
  • Lisah8969
    Lisah8969 Posts: 1,247 Member
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    My mom takes her Kindle to the gym and I see older men reading the Newspaper quite often. The people who do this are probably aiming to keep their mind off the fact that they are in fact exercising. I don't see it as a fail, I see it as a win. The could easily be doing the same thing, but sitting down. At least they're moving.

    don't you think they would have better progress/results if they concentrated on their routine for an hour?

    I do read my kindle when I am on the bike. I am curious as to how I would get better results if I concentrated more on my feet pedaling than if I read a book as I can't figure that out. I know how fast I should be going and I check my rpms and distance to make sure I am not slowing down, but other than that, I don't see how only thinking about biking for that 45 minutes as opposed to reading makes a difference.
  • errorika
    errorika Posts: 89 Member
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    I read books when I'm on the elliptical for the same reason I listen to audiobooks when I run. It helps me not talk myself out of continuing the workout.

    The best part about using a Kindle is that I can blow the font up super huge, so no matter how much bouncing I'm doing I can still keep my place.
  • shayleac
    shayleac Posts: 76 Member
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    I used to do that while I was in school. I had school from 8-12 and then work from 2-10 so getting in a workout and finishing homework was difficult.

    I've even ran on a treadmill while studying my textbook. You gotta do what you gotta do.
    Obviously you probably can't get as much as a workout while having another focus, however it's better than nothing.
  • Deedsie
    Deedsie Posts: 348 Member
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    I used to read on the elliptical and bike but as I have progressed in my fitness, I have cut out these distractions. I have also cut out the majority of my music during my runs outside.

    There have been studies into multi-tasking that have shown decreased performance when attempting to do more than one task at a time. Also, I have noticed that if I start multi-tasking in one area, then I eventually bleed that habit into other areas of my life. I think it is important to be in the moment.

    If you are just starting and you are watching entertainment, studying or reading for pleasure while working out, I would advise that you start attempting to remove these tasks by creating a more interesting or challenging workout. Give those items the time they deserve and give your workout the time it deserves. You will do better at each item and feel stronger for it, speaking from experience.

    http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/multi-tasking-is-bad-for-the-brain-and-makes-you-a-worse-worker-experts-say/story-e6frfm9r-1226625939738
  • Mouse_Potato
    Mouse_Potato Posts: 1,495 Member
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    I only read the first few pages, so I apologize if someone else mentioned this, but it's possible that the workout is not that person's first priority. I like to study on the treadmill, not because the exercise is boring, but because whatever I'm studying is! I am not a person who can just sit down and read about Calculus for half an hour, but I *can* walk on the treadmill at a 5% incline and study Calculus at the same time. I will get my *real* workout in at another time, but reading and walking keeps me from falling asleep in the middle of my textbook.

    Just a thought. :flowerforyou:
  • redheaddee
    redheaddee Posts: 2,005 Member
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    Yes, really. Reading or viewing a tablet while I am on the hamster mill makes it so I cannot see the time. I end up working out longer, and since I HATEHATEHATE the tread, this is vital.
  • suv_hater
    suv_hater Posts: 374 Member
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    I like those people. A lot better than the 'people watchers' in the cardio area. I hate those people that always use a cardio machine next to the catwalk and you can feel them glancing over at you as you walk by. Get a life and get a workout.
  • c_tap77
    c_tap77 Posts: 189 Member
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    I'm impressed by all of the people who say they can read while on the elliptical. Personally, I can't (I'm usually doing intervals and I'm moving too much to focus on print). I do use my tablet though to watch videos. If I watch the time / monitor I usually don't go as hard or as long as I would otherwise. Watching videos actually lets me focus on how my body is feeling instead of concentrating on the numbers and I push myself harder when i focus on the feels rather than the stats.
  • FakingFitness
    FakingFitness Posts: 325 Member
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    If I'm on a stationary bike, sure. Not really able to read anywhere else, and the stationary bike for me is when I need to get blood flow to continue in my legs after a particularly strenuous lower day.

    But to each his own. Everybody seems to be reading something at my gym.

    I could see the bike..

    the tablet thing really blew my mind...LOL

    Maybe the person had their workout routine on the tablet.
    I've used my phone to run my routine. A tablet would do the same thing.

    But all n all, I say to each his own. I don't judge anyone in the gym and hope I get the same courtesy.

    Do you think people who watch the TV's and people who are listening to music in the gym are not trying hard enough either?
    Just curious as to which electronics are okay and which are not.

    music approved...a good play list will get you through any day ..

    everything else = epic fail/not trying hard enough

    And do you get to decide what is a good playlist and a bad playlist?
    *(I'm wondering, if you read while on the treadmill, maybe you'd know that playlist is one word. haha)

    I also wonder, if you're concentrating on your workout so much, how do you have time to concentrate on these other people and what they're doing?

    Do you look look at accidents when you drive past?

    OMG - what if the playlist is an AudioBook?? :)~
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,503 Member
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    I saw someone on a treadmill reading a book today, and it kind of got me to thinking. If you are on a treadmill running/walking whatever, how can you concentrate on reading a book? Another person brings in a tablet and sets it on ground in front of them when working with some of the machines...weird..

    In my humble opinion, if you are reading book or watching a tablet while at gym then said person is not working out hard enough and/or are not concentrating on routine.

    I mean we can't go to the gym for an hour without brining a book or tablet, really?

    curious what the rest of you think ....read/tablet = yes, no, or epic fail ....
    It can be done at low to moderate levels of cardio. Cardio doesn't ALWAYS have to be high intensity. I read on the stepmill while on level 8. Not super fast, but you have to keep up or you'll end up eating it.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition
  • JustJennie1
    JustJennie1 Posts: 3,843 Member
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    I saw someone on a treadmill reading a book today, and it kind of got me to thinking. If you are on a treadmill running/walking whatever, how can you concentrate on reading a book? Another person brings in a tablet and sets it on ground in front of them when working with some of the machines...weird..

    In my humble opinion, if you are reading book or watching a tablet while at gym then said person is not working out hard enough and/or are not concentrating on routine.

    I mean we can't go to the gym for an hour without brining a book or tablet, really?

    curious what the rest of you think ....read/tablet = yes, no, or epic fail ....
    It can be done at low to moderate levels of cardio. Cardio doesn't ALWAYS have to be high intensity. I read on the stepmill while on level 8. Not super fast, but you have to keep up or you'll end up eating it.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness industry for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    How can you read on the stepmill? I used to do that at the fitness center where I worked and I had to concentrate on my feet or else I'd trip.
  • star5785
    star5785 Posts: 140
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    I read while on the treadmill. It takes my mind off the fact that I'm working out. I'll do anything not to focus on the pain I'm in, lol!!!