If you spend a lot of time exercising, you might start wondering if this is the perfect time to catch up on your favorite novel or to start working on that knitting project you’ve been thinking about. You’re just staring at nothing while running on your treadmill anyway. Why not grab your favorite book and start reading while you exercise?


In some ways, multitasking while you exercise can be a great way to keep you motivated and to prevent boredom. However, if you’re trying something new or if you’re working on a challenging exercise, it can be an unnecessary distraction. Here’s when multitasking while exercising is appropriate, and here’s when you should close the book and focus on staying in shape instead.


When Is Multitasking While Exercising a Good Idea?


If you’ve been exercising for a while and know how to exercise safely, reading can be a great way to keep your mind active while you’re running on the treadmill. Crack open your favorite book or catch up on that novel that everyone’s been talking about. You can also try reading or knitting while practicing yoga. Instead of reaching for your smartphone, grab your favorite book or tackle that knitting project that you’ve been working on.


When Should You Avoid Multitasking During Exercise?


If this is your first time exercising, you’ll want to focus on the exercise before you start adding distractions into your routine. Running on a treadmill or practicing basic yoga poses might seem simple enough. But if you’re not careful, you could injure yourself while performing simple tasks. Take at least a week or two to get settled into your exercise regimen before you think about reading or knitting while you work out.


Additionally, reading or knitting while exercising isn’t a good idea if you’re working on a strenuous activity that requires a lot of focus. For example, if you’re trying out a complicated new yoga pose, you’ll want to put all your energy into the exercise so you can do it correctly without injuring yourself. Distractions can be dangerous if you’re introducing new steps into your routine.


And finally, don’t try to multitask if it makes you feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to accomplish a million different things at once; it’s okay to slow down once in a while and to focus on the task at hand. Exercise is supposed to improve your mental health, so put away the book and the knitting needles if they’re making you feel stressed instead of relaxed.


What’s the Final Verdict?


Overall, if you find yourself getting bored while you exercise, multitasking can be a great way to keep your mind active. Just don’t try to distract yourself while performing new or challenging exercises. If you start to feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to step back and to focus solely on exercising. After all, you’re working out because you want to improve your mental and physical health. There’s no point in risking it all by pushing yourself too far during a workout session.