Book Lovers, Exercise While You Read!

Sometimes, when you start a really good book, it is just too hard to put it down. Consider making a few minutes of your reading time more productive by working your brain and body simultaneously! With these six book lovers’ exercises, you can keep your body active while your mind is occupied with a good read—and you’ll never miss any important plot twists!


Book Lovers’ Exercises for Beginners

Readers of all ages can try these simple beginner exercises. Leg raises, sit-to-stand squats and fire hydrant lifts work the lower body while you read. Choose a firm surface for the leg and hip raises, and keep your neck in line with your spine while you read and exercise.

1. Side Lying Leg Raises 

Lie on your side with your legs straight. Keeping your hips stacked, lift your top leg. Pause at the top for 2 seconds and lower knee back down. Repeat 20-30 reps on each side with rest breaks as needed.


2. Sit to Stands

Sitting on the edge of a sturdy, firm chair, hinge forward at the hips and push to standing. Ensure you have your balance, then slowly return to sitting. Keep your posture tall throughout. Repeat 15-20 reps.



3. Fire Hydrants

While on your hands and knees, lift one leg out to the side, keeping the knee bent. Do not twist towards the moving leg—keep your hips pointed at the floor. Repeat 20-30 reps each side.




Book Lovers’ Exercises for Intermediate/Advanced Levels

Are you ready for an added challenge to your concentration and strength? Try these intermediate exercises for the lower body and core while you read. Split squats, planks and wall sits can all be done while you read! Feel free to modify these book lovers’ exercises based on your skill level, and perform them as many times as you’d like.

1. Split Squats

Standing with one foot forward and the other foot back, drop your back knee down towards the floor. Push up through both feet to return to standing. Keep your spine upright.. Do 10-15 reps and repeat 2-3 times on each leg.



2. Planks

Get into a push-up position with hands directly below shoulders and your body in a straight line from your shoulders down to your ankles. Do not let hips drop or lift them up in the air. Hold 30 seconds to a minute. Repeat 2-3 times.


3. Wall Sits

Leaning against a wall, slide down the wall as if you are sitting in a chair. Hold this position for 60 seconds or as long as you can. Push up using your glutes and thighs to slide back up the wall between reps. Repeat 2-3 times.



Work Your Brain and Body

Book lovers everywhere have times when they just want to read and relax, but imagine how productive you will be when you work your brain and body at the same time! Move your body while maintaining your concentration and engaging your gray matter. Try exercising while you read!

- Allison Dillenburg, PT, DPT -