What Makes Dickens a Lousy Running Buddy?

The Wall Street Journal:

While it’s true that a Stephen King book can make hearts race, churning through “The Shining” generally doesn’t qualify as a cardiovascular workout. Not in print, anyway.

So what about listening to an audiobook version of the horror classic during a run? Joe Flood, for one, says the spoken word imbues him with an inexplicable desire to keep going.

Some scientists are leaning into the idea that running and reading don’t necessarily mix well. “When you do two things at once there is always a cost,” says Daniel Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia who researches the impact of multi-taking on the brain. Though the runner may not realize it consciously, his or her mind constantly switches back and forth between the two tasks—a ping-pong effect that might even be hazardous to a runner’s health.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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