Is It Safe To Read On The Treadmill Or Exercise Bike?

Is It Safe To Read On The Treadmill Or Exercise Bike
Using a treadmill or exercise bike can make exercising a lot safer since you don’t need to keep your situational awareness on high alert for pedestrians, cars, and other dangers. However, does that mean it is safe enough to read on your treadmill or exercise bike? The answer from your treadmill review experts is a firm maybe.

Reading On A Treadmill Is A Bad Idea

In general, we don’t recommend reading while you are working out on your treadmill. It is possible to walk slowly and read, but you are taking unnecessary risks by reading when you should be focused on exercising. It is far easier to trip and stumble or even potentially fall when the majority of your attention is on reading and not on your movement. Other reasons why reading on a treadmill is a bad idea are:

  • Your arms do not move naturally while holding a book and reading, which reduces your overall calorie burn.
  • Maintaining a good balance on your treadmill can be difficult, as you need to hold your upper body fairly still to read.
  • Only walking is possible while reading on a treadmill, which isn’t nearly as effective as doing a short HIIT workout or dedicated 30-minute jog.
  • Some people experience motion sickness from trying to walk and read at the same time.

If you need something engaging to help you focus on your workout and avoid the tempting lure of reading on your treadmill, check out the best treadmills. Quite a few of the treadmills on that list come with the ability to access iFit Coach, which has thousands of video workouts. Whether you want to hike Machu Picchu or follow your virtual personal trainer on a walking tour of London, you can find all that and more.

Using An Exercise Bike And Reading Is A Little Safer

One of the biggest issues of trying to read on a treadmill is that you need to walk and read. Using an exercise bike eliminates that issue, making it a bit safer to indulge in some reading. Yet, that doesn’t make reading on an exercise bike the best option. Some of the drawbacks are:

  • Less focus on an effective workout
  • Speeds are slower while reading
  • You may hit your knee if you shift while reading

Also, recumbent bikes are more comfortable to read on, as most upright bike seats are narrow to help encourage more movement on the part of the rider. So, we suppose if you are dead-set on reading and exercising at the same time, an exercise bike—particularly a recumbent bike—is the best choice.

Try And Minimize Multitasking When Working Out

Both home fitness enthusiasts and gym-goers try to multitask while working out, and we have to say, we definitely don’t recommend attempting to multitask at the gym. At busy gyms—or peak hours at your gym—having someone slowly pedal or walk on a treadmill can be incredibly frustrating. Some gyms end up enforcing a time limit on these machines due to inconsiderate patrons.

Another thing to consider is that at a gym, you face greater risks when you are distracted. You don’t want to have your nose in a book and miss that someone besides you just improperly threw a weighted ball, and it’s coming at you. Accidents can happen even when you are aware of your surroundings, but you can react faster to issues if you are watching out for what the other patrons are doing.

Overall, it is best to block out as many distractions as possible while working out to maximize the effectiveness of your exercise session. But if you want to put on some audio entertainment, it is a safer alternative to trying to read.

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