Listening to Audiobooks While Running or Exercising Can Help You Burn Those Calories

While it's true that a Stephen King book can make hearts race, churning through "The Shining" generally doesn't qualify as a cardiovascular workout. Not in print, anyway.

Pictured: Listening to books helps Joe Flood stay motivated during his runs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, above. Mr. Flood first set out with podcasts. Once audiobooks became widely available on his mobile device, he embraced the longer form.
So what about listening to an audiobook version of the horror classic during a run? Joe Flood, for one, says the spoken word imbues him with an inexplicable desire to keep going.

"Most days it can be a struggle to get myself out the door, or to run that extra mile," says the 30-year-old writer and college archery coach who lives in South Dakota's Badlands. "If I'm wrapped up in a good book, though, the time and the miles just seem to flow along with the narrative."

There are now legions of such long-distance readers who, data suggest, prefer burning calories to turning pages.

Nearly one-quarter of all audiobook buyers reported listening while exercising, according to a recent survey by the Audio Publishers Association, an industry trade group. Sales of audiobooks jumped 13% last year, to $1.2 billion, said the study, released earlier this month. Downloads to mobile devices were up 30%, accounting for 54% of all sales.

"We've found the vast majority of our readers are multitaskers. They listen while they do something else," says Michele Cobb, the association's president.

The Wall Street Journal
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