7 Ways to be More Productive During Your Workout

Learn how to get things done while exercising. Plus—tips and techniques for not wasting time during your workouts.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #80

One of the most common complaints I hear about exercise is that folks simply “don’t have enough time.” And while it is certainly true that workouts can take you away from productive activities such as finishing a paper, studying for school, and completing work projects, there’s no reason that you can’t actually accomplish some of these tasks while you’re exercising. So in this article, you’ll learn how to be more productive during your workouts, how to get things done while you’re exercising, and tips and techniques for not wasting time.

The podcast version of this episode is brought to you by Betterment, an easier way to invest. Visit www.betterment.com/getfit.

7 Ways To Be More Productive During Your Workout

#1. Use a Treadmill Workstation

In the episode 7 Ways To Burn Calories By Standing More, I introduce the concept of a standing or treadmill workstation, which can easily be integrated into a home office setting. That way, you can ambulate while engaging in other productive activities. In this article I teach you how to make a standing desk and create a treadmill workstation. I have clients who slowly walk several miles each day while working, and I personally do almost 90% of my writing in the standing position.

#2. Talk While Moving

If I have a phone call or meeting for which it isn’t necessary for me to be sitting at a computer, I’ll put on my phone headset, go for a walk, and engage in the discussion while I’m walking. I also have a stationary bicycle at home, which I ride while on phone meetings. If you tend to make a lot of calls during your workday, there’s no reason you can’t burn calories at the same time!

#3. Learn While Moving

If you’re a student, or you work in a job for which you need to be engaged in continuing education and learning, you can do much of this while you’re weight training, bicycling, running, or if you have an underwater .mp3 player, even while you’re swimming! Many universities make their lectures available in podcast format, and if something is available in video format only, there are many types of software you can get for free on the internet that can convert videos into audios.

#4. Listen to Podcasts or Audiobooks

Even if you’re not a student and continuing education is not necessary for your job, you can still feel like you’re “not wasting time” with your workout if you are able to listen to your favorite book, to the news, or to an educational or entertaining podcast (ahem, Get-Fit Guy) while you’re exercising. For me, it’s tough to go out on a 100-mile Ironman triathlon training bike ride and simply listen to music for 5 hours. I’d rather be more productive and make myself smarter by listening to financial, news, entertainment, and science podcasts – and of course, to my favorite Quick and Dirty Tips hosts!


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.