11 Short Audiobooks You Can Finish In A Single Gym Session

by Kerri Jarema

Come January, there are two New Year's resolutions I hear from the people in my life more often than any others. "I want to read more" and "I want to exercise more." I'm always on board with both of these (though I tend to find the reading easier to do than the exercising....) We all know that moving our bodies, in whatever way we choose, can have a huge positive effect on both our physical and mental well-being, from reducing stress and anxiety to lowering the risk for disease. And reading can do much the same to enrich our lives. Books teach us empathy, and help improve our relationships with the people around us. Plus, both exercise and reading can be super fun additions to our lives.

But, in many ways they may seem like opposing actions. Exercise is movement. Reading is sedentary. So how will ever find time to dedicate to the two? Combine them! Audiobooks are one of the best ways to get more reading time in while your body is on the go. And there are options in every genre and age-group to choose from. So, whether you're walking, stretching, cycling, running, doing yoga or going to the gym, these audiobooks will pair perfectly with whatever physical activity you've taken on this year.

For the purposes of this list, each audiobook clocks in at under two hours; walk for the entire duration, or start it during your warm-up and listen through to the cool down. And if your entire workout is shorter? Just save the rest of the book for next time! And you can always download even longer novels to keep you going throughout a week's worth of workouts. Either way, you'll have two great reasons to look forward to lacing up your sneakers.

'Long Way Down' by Jason Reynolds (1 hr, 43 mins)

Jason Reynolds' powerful poem Long Way Down is about gun violence, legacy, and family. And it all plays out in an elevator. Will is on his way to take revenge for the murder of his brother, but is interrupted by a few visitors on the way down to the ground floor. It's just suspenseful enough that you'll want to push through your workout to get to end.

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'Milk & Honey' by Rupi Kaur (1 hr, 6 mins)

Rupi Kaur's Milk & Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival, violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Kaur has quickly become one of the best known and most controversial poets working today, but if you've been holding off on getting acquainted with her work, doing it during a run, walk or yoga session is definitely the way to go.

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'On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century' by Timothy Snyder (1 hr, 48 mins)

On Tyranny might not sound like the most motivating read, and sometimes sitting down with the most crucial reading takes the most convincing. So the audiobook version is really the perfect way to combine absorbing some hard-to-swallow information with a body in motion. Plus, any anger you experience may just serve to fuel your workout that much more. It's a win, win.

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'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' by J.K. Rowling (1 hr, 40 mins)

Who wouldn't want to hear Eddie Redmayne during a workout? This Hogwarts textbook is an indispensable introduction to the magical beasts of the wizarding world and Newt Scamander's adventures.

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'What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings—and Life' by Laura Vanderkam (1 hr, 4 mins)

Maybe one of your goals this year is to be more motivated in everything you do. If so, listening to a self-help book or two while you workout can only help your cause. Listen toWhat The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast and learn how to more successional manage your time and build good habits.

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'The Little Prince' by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (1 hr, 41 mins)

Maybe you've missed a couple of classics along the way, and you're looking for a quick way to catch up? You guessed it: audiobooks. The Little Prince is not only one of the most beloved classics of our time, it's also an inspiring, sweet read that will bring some great mental clarity to your workout session.

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'Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers' by Anne Lamott (1 hr, 46 mins)

Anne Lamott's Help Thanks Wow is all about rethinking prayer and faith in our modern lives. Whatever spiritual path you are on, the ideas of asking for help, appreciating the good in our lives, and feeling awe at the world around us are positive outlooks to carry throughout 2018. And you'll learn all about them in Lamott's own words.

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'Citizen: An American Lyric' by Claudia Rankine (1 hr, 37 mins)

Claudia Rankine's Citizen is a collection of poetry and prose all about race, racism and the effects of both on our so-called "post-race society." Another addition to the powerful, necessary reads of our time that we may, for whatever reason, be avoiding, you won't be able to press pause on this one before its done.

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'We Should All Be Feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (45 mins)

Whether you've seen Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk of We Should All Be Feminists or not, absorbing this powerful speech through audiobook version is an experience everyone should have at least once. If 2018 for you is all about building your intersectional feminism, this will definitely be the most motivating workout you've ever done.

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'The Little Book Of Mindfulness' by Patrizia Collard (1 hr, 24 mins)

Making mindfulness a part of your life in 2018? Start slow by absorbing this book about incorporating 10 minute practices into your day for less stress, and anxiety and more gratitude and acceptance. The Little Book Of Mindfulness has all of the above and more, a great introduction to wellness of the mind, while you work on wellness of the body.

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'There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce' by Morgan Parker (1 hr, 16 mins)

Morgan Parker's poetry collection There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce made a splash in 2017 for good reason. These poems are a collection of womanhood is all of its forms, the complexity of Black lives, love, mental health, survival, power. Basically, if you don't find something you need within this pages, you aren't listening close enough.

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