The Doc File

The online journal of Luke Dockery

Reading and Walking

I have to read a lot for grad school, and sometimes my reading assignments stack up to the point that I have to spend hours and hours reading in a given day. Sometimes this can be hard to do, because the reading is occasionally not the most interesting material in the world, and if I read while sitting back in my chair or laying down, it’s easy to fall asleep.

So recently, I have come upon what seems to be a great solution: I walk laps in the church auditorium while doing my reading. So far, I have noticed at least three benefits:
  • Since I’m walking while reading, it’s pretty difficult to fall asleep. Along the same lines, it’s easy for me to read for longer periods of time this way.
  • Spending my reading time in the auditorium rather than the office tends to minimize distractions (the temptation of having my computer nearby, phone interruptions, questions, etc.).
  • I get exercise while being at work!
The last point is perhaps more significant than I originally thought. Yesterday I had quite a bit of reading to do, and ended up walking 190 laps around the church auditorium. I also paced off the distance of one lap, and determined that it comes out to about 74 yards. When I did the math, I was surprised (but pleased) to discover that I had walked almost 8 miles!

I am excited about this and hope to make it a habit, at least for those times when I have a lot of reading to do (not all activities can be done well while walking laps). I need to start wearing better shoes to work though!

12 Comments

  1. Did you get this idea from your many laps of walking a fussy Kinsley around the house?

  2. Like Scrooge in the thinkatorium.

  3. We will be leaving you a bill to replace the carpet that you are wearing out. Great idea. Sad to say but I read on long journeys. I have many audio books that I started listeming to when making long trips, but some still hard copies.

  4. Note to self: don’t caravan with Mike Raine on long road trips.
    Luke – I’ve tried this in the past, but I run into too much stuff. I’m better on a treadmill.
    Also, if my husband didn’t leave the comment about Scrooge, I’m worried as to who else might be that into Duck Tales besides you two.

  5. Angela,

    I don’t know where the idea came from originally. I’ll say this though—a lap with a book is much less exhausting than a lap with a fussy baby!

  6. Anonymous,

    Much like that, except without the deep grooves in the floor (give me time though!).

  7. Mike,

    I’m just trying to even out the spots that are already worn! I enjoy listening to audio books in the car—it always puts Caroline to sleep though.

  8. Mrs. D,

    Regarding road trips with Mike: yikes!

    I could probably do it on a treadmill as long as I was walking and not running. I’ve tried to do it while running but it’s too jarring. I thought I would run into stuff as well, but it’s not too bad. The walkways are pretty wide and my peripheral vision (usually) allows me to see obstacles like the communion table.

    I thought that must’ve been Will with the Duck Tales comment…Bland is the only other person who ever references that wonderful show on my blog.

  9. This pleases me immensely! 8 miles! well done! I am seriously impressed.

    Also, I have always been impressed with your counting ability (ex. Net cars passed on your way to and from HU), but counting while reading, thats a whole new level!

    There are LOADS more benefits to come if you keep it up! I am excited for you!

  10. Justin,

    Unfortunately, I won’t be able to get that much walking in every day, as I usually don’t have quite that much reading to do—yesterday I only walked 45 laps.

    As far as the counting thing goes…it’s both a blessing and a curse. 🙂

  11. I have my computer on a tall table and stand in front of it for hours to avoid prolonged sitting on a screaming sciatic nerve. You’ve inspired me to try to walk while I read. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  12. Marion,

    I had heard about standing desks before and how they were, health-wise, much preferable to sitting all day, and that’s part of what inspired me to try this.

    I do think it’s important to try it on a treadmill or someplace where it is flat and their aren’t a lot of obstacles (like a church auditorium). Otherwise you might end up bumping into a lot of things!

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