Multitasking at the Gym

It’s Wednesday night, and you really want to go to the gym but you still haven’t finished your homework. (Ok personally, I love going to the gym but my suitemates tell me that some people usually don’t really want to and I get that. Maybe you just want to go so you can procrastinate on that paper for another half an hour. No judgement.) So, you can either hit the elliptical and stay up later than you want to finish your homework afterward or you can skip the gym and just get your work done. Right?


As a college student, you’re probably getting pretty darn good at binge watching shows on Netflix while doing your homework or catching up on your social media while sending emails. But multitasking while exercising is woefully neglected.

book stack1

Now this isn’t for everything. I wouldn’t recommend trying to write a philosophy paper while on the elliptical, but there are certain things that lend themselves to multitasking.

For my Econ class, my professor often has me listen to Econ related podcasts. While they aren’t bad in and of themselves, I hate just sitting down and listening to them when I know I have a million other things to get done. A couple of months ago I started going to the gym and listening to the podcasts there. I was a little worried that I would get distracted too easily or that I wouldn’t be able to do both.

Surprisingly, I loved it. The podcasts are typically about an hour long, so I feel more motivated to stay at the gym for the full hour instead of leaving after 45 or 50 minutes like I typically do. I actually found that I remembered the material from the podcast better because the noise in the gym forced me to concentrate harder on what I was hearing. There was no fear of falling asleep while listening to it either, since I was working out rather than sitting on my bed.

Maybe you prefer to do your homework quietly or maybe the gym is your break from homework. But depending on your assignments, I really recommend trying this technique.

If you really don’t want to leave your room or you don’t want to commit to a full gym routine, no problem. Try stretching, doing a few yoga poses, or doing some planks and other core exercises in your room while studying. I use a yoga mat to stretch or work out several times a week in my room, and it’s easy to do while reviewing notes or finishing a reading. Another option is using a foam roller to stretch out while you study. 

Don’t be afraid to try multitasking beyond Netflix and homework. Working out is key, but it’s easy to fall out of a routine as the semester gets crazier and crazier. Take the homework to the gym and see what happens!

Check out my post The Unintimidating Way to Schedule your Week to help schedule in your gym time!



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