Reading on a Treadmill: Combining Fitness and Literacy

Man reading on a treadmill

In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for both physical exercise and mental stimulation can be a challenge. Many people struggle to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy lifestyle and pursuing their intellectual interests. 

However, there is a way to combine these two essential aspects of our lives: reading on a treadmill. This unique approach not only helps individuals stay physically fit but also allows them to indulge in the pleasure of reading. In this article, we will explore the benefits, considerations, and practical tips for reading while on a treadmill.

The Benefits of Reading on a Treadmill

Physical Fitness and Exercise

Regular physical exercise is crucial for maintaining good health. Engaging in cardiovascular activities like walking or running on a treadmill can enhance cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles, boost endurance, and even improve mood. 

By incorporating reading into this exercise routine, individuals can maximize their time and achieve multiple goals simultaneously.

Mental Stimulation and Knowledge Enhancement

Reading is an excellent way to expand one’s knowledge, broaden perspectives, and engage in imaginative worlds. By reading while on a treadmill, individuals can make the most of their workout time by feeding their minds with valuable information, stories, and insights. 

This unique combination allows individuals to utilize their exercise sessions to explore new ideas, learn about different cultures, or even delve into fictional realms.

Time Efficiency and Multitasking

One of the main advantages of reading on a treadmill is the ability to multitask. In today’s busy world, time is a precious resource, and finding opportunities to accomplish multiple tasks at once can be a game-changer. 

By combining exercise and reading, individuals can make efficient use of their time, ensuring that both their physical and mental well-being are prioritized.

Considerations for Reading on a Treadmill

While reading on treadmill offers numerous benefits, it is important to consider a few factors to ensure a safe and effective experience.

Safety First

Safety should always be the top priority when engaging in any physical activity. When reading on a treadmill, it is crucial to maintain a suitable pace and ensure that the book or reading material does not distract you from your surroundings. 

Start with a slow walking pace and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with the multitasking aspect. Always be aware of your balance and maintain a proper posture to prevent any accidents or injuries.

Suitable Reading Material

Choosing the right reading material is essential for an enjoyable and productive experience on the treadmill. Opt for books that are engaging, easy to follow, and do not require intense concentration. 

Lighter genres such as fiction, self-help, biographies, or magazines are great choices. Avoid books that demand excessive focus or have complex plotlines, as they may interfere with your ability to maintain a steady pace and absorb the material effectively.

Book Formats

The format of the book can significantly impact your experience on the treadmill. Physical books can be cumbersome to hold and turn pages while walking or running. 

Consider using e-readers or tablets with adjustable font sizes, which allow you to maintain a comfortable reading position without compromising your exercise routine. 

Audiobooks are another excellent alternative for those who prefer a more immersive experience without the need for visual engagement.

Practical Tips for Reading on a Treadmill

To make the most of your reading sessions on the treadmill, here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

Set Realistic Goals

Start with short reading sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Begin with 10 to 15 minutes and gradually work your way up to longer periods. It’s important to listen to your body and adjust the duration based on your physical endurance.

Find the Right Treadmill Setup

Adjust the treadmill settings to a comfortable speed and incline that allows you to maintain a steady pace without compromising your reading experience. Experiment with different settings to find what works best for you.

Use Book Holders or Reading Stands

Invest in book holders or reading stands that can be attached to the treadmill. These accessories provide a stable surface to place your book or e-reader, allowing you to read comfortably without the need to hold it in your hands.

Stay Hydrated

Don’t forget to hydrate during your reading sessions on the treadmill. Keep a water bottle nearby and take regular sips to stay adequately hydrated throughout your workout.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of discomfort or fatigue while reading on the treadmill. If you experience any pain or dizziness, it’s important to stop and take a break. Remember that exercise should be enjoyable and beneficial, so always listen to your body’s signals.

Overcoming Challenges and Building a Routine

While reading on a treadmill offers numerous benefits, it is essential to address potential challenges and establish a consistent routine.

Overcoming Distractions

Reading while on a treadmill requires focus and concentration to balance physical activity and mental engagement. However, distractions can disrupt your reading experience. 

To minimize interruptions, choose a dedicated space for your treadmill where you can limit external disturbances. Silence your phone or put it on “Do Not Disturb” mode to avoid constant notifications. 

Additionally, if you find it challenging to concentrate, consider wearing noise-canceling headphones to create a more immersive reading environment.

Building a Reading Schedule

To make reading on a treadmill a regular habit, it is helpful to establish a reading schedule. Determine specific times of the day or week when you can allocate dedicated reading sessions on the treadmill. 

Consistency is key, so aim for at least three to four sessions per week. You can start with shorter durations, gradually increasing the time as you become more comfortable. 

By incorporating reading on a treadmill into your routine, you can ensure that you consistently engage in both physical exercise and mental stimulation.

Tracking Progress

Tracking your progress can be motivating and help you stay committed to your reading and fitness goals. 

Consider using fitness tracking apps or devices that allow you to monitor your distance, speed, and calories burned during each treadmill session. Additionally, some e-readers or reading apps offer reading progress tracking, providing a sense of accomplishment as you complete books or reach reading milestones. 

Celebrating your achievements, whether in terms of fitness or reading progress, can further reinforce the habit of reading on a treadmill.


Reading on a treadmill presents a unique opportunity to blend physical fitness with mental stimulation. 

By incorporating reading into your exercise routine, you can optimize your time, enhance your knowledge, and engage in the pleasure of reading, all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

Remember to prioritize safety, choose suitable reading material, and follow practical tips for a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So, grab a book, hop on the treadmill, and embark on a journey of physical and intellectual well-being.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

Similar Posts