Books and Exercise

51TFvlpsjiL__SL500_AA300_PIaudible,BottomRight,13,73_AA300_I recently finished “reading” Stationary Bike, a novella by Stephen King. I use quotations because I was actually listening to the audiobook instead of reading the printed words with my eyes. It’s about a guy with a high cholesterol level. In order to lower it, he gets a stationary bike. Instead of setting it up in front of a TV or whatever, he points it at a wall where he’s painted a picture of a forest-y trail (he’s a freelance artist). He also takes a map and plans out the route that he’ll be “biking.”

All of this is intended to make the exercise more entertaining and motivating – going somewhere instead of biking nowhere in your basement and picturing your surroundings instead of the four bare walls surrounding you.

Long story (not really because it’s only 1.5 hours long on audiobook) short, his reality warps and he gets chased by the men working to clean up his cholesterol. No, he doesn’t die (though you and he both think he will), but he does learn a really good life lesson: everything in moderation.

Normally I wouldn’t post about my reading here, but this story was all about fitness and health (and horror in a sense but that’s beside the point). What I found laughably unbelievable about this story was how easy exercise came to him and how easily he lost weight.

Now, I know men find it easier to lose weight than women but this was ridiculous. He lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks! Seriously? After that they stopped giving a timeline so I don’t know how long it took him to lower his cholesterol (from 225 to 173), but he lost almost all of his beer gut in that time too. He also found his daily bike ride so therapeutic and enjoyable that he had to set an alarm clock for 2 hours just to remind himself to stop.

Nice. I wish exercise were that easy in the real world.


I wish eating healthy was as easy as King wrote it too. Still, I enjoyed the book. More, I enjoyed the idea of losing myself on a fake trail. That sounded seriously enjoyable – biking my way to some location and imagining myself on the trail though I was safely ensconced in a room on a bike that wouldn’t move or fall over. When I wanted to stop, I could and not have to worry about biking or walking 5-10 miles back the way I came.

When my lady bits got used to the bike seat, I enjoyed the Spin class. I loved seeing how far I could make it in 30-45 minutes and trying to top myself. But I have no stationary bike at home and no longer have a gym membership (sometimes I mourn it but not usually). And I don’t have any trail programs or anything that I could lose myself in even if I did have a stationary bike.


Curious to see if there were programs like that, I searched the internet and found one promising site. It even gives a free demo! I don’t know what it’s like because I have no reason to download it (it’s offered digitally though the rest I believe have a DVD option), but it looks pretty cool.

Trail Trainer

Might be fun for anyone looking for new ways to entertain themselves while biking/exercising. For me, I’ll have to stick with audiobooks and music.


Audiobooks are an awesome way to lose yourself while working those cardio machines. I found them especially useful on rowing machines. Forever rowing nowhere, I’d close my eyes, feel the breeze on my sweaty face as I went forward/backward/forward/backward, and listen to whatever audiobook was currently on my iPod. Usually Pride & Prejudice or something from Nora Roberts.

I’ve tried Lord of the Rings but it just didn’t float my boat when it came to exercise (crocheting, yes, exercise, no). I suggest something exciting or just something that makes your heart pump and your blood race.


About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming world-famous (not really). I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a writer, a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and a nutter for doing all of the above.

Posted on March 2, 2015, in Fitness, Personal and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I tried to listen to Jane Austen while exercising, and got NOWHERE. The lovely British cadence made me want to have tea and a nice walk in the sunshine, and the speed killed any desire I had to exercise. I would imagine Tolkien is the same – I can’t listen to LotR in the car ’cause I start to nod off. Eragon did that, too. I listened to the first three GRR Martin books, though, and found them both good company on road trips and while walking through wooded areas. (Although the road trips had the unfortunate side effect of showing me how boringly slow the stories actually are; the hubby would fall asleep while I was driving, wake up an hour later, and I could fill him in on the plot he’d missed in less than a minute. Plus, by the midpoint in the second book, he HATED them. And about halfway through the third, I got REALLY bored and annoyed on feminist grounds and never finished.)

    I used to read on the recumbent bike, but then I had a baby and my loose kangaroo pouch made recumbent biking impossible. And upright biking is murder on my pelvis. Sigh. I miss biking…it used to be my favorite. I can never figure out what to listen to on the treadmill, though. I get distracted and start wobbling if I get sucked into a book, and I get bored with my music choices after they’ve been effective once or twice.

    Excuses, excuses…

    Ooh! But my Blogilates motivational calendar just showed up in the mail today, so I’m pumped up by the pretty pictures. Gotta wait until I’m not wheezing on every breath before I do much (as well as rest until thirty minutes out of the house doesn’t exhaust me), but I’m excited to get back to it. 🙂

    • You bought the calendar?? Lucky! I really wanted to get it too but decided I needed to save my money for other things because I had been spending too much recently. They are super cute pics though, huh! I preordered her book and am really looking forward to April when it comes out. *___* WOO!

      • Yeah, it was part of my “Making myself healthy” splurge when our tax return came in. I haven’t hung it up yet…not sure where I want to put it… Let me know how her book is when you get it (and read it, obviously)!

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