A person lifting weights with a variety of audiobook covers highlighted.

Recommended Reads, Trends

The best audiobooks to listen to while you exercise


Jan 03, 2023

Did you make a resolution to get in shape this year? You're not alone. Many of us are currently digging deep in the back of the drawer to find those workout clothes as the treadmill lines at the gym grow longer. But working out more doesn't have to be a pain (literal or otherwise). Throwing an audiobook in your gym bag or carrying it along for a walk outside is as easy as reaching into your pocket for your phone. Your library has lots of audiobooks available on the free Libby app waiting to be your workout companion whether you prefer to run, walk, bike, swim, skate, lift weights or whatever movement works best for your body.

Treating yourself to a funny, fascinating or nail-biting story is a great way to keep your motivation high so you'll be eagerly awaiting your next workout session. Read on for great audiobooks recommendations that will help both your mind and body stay focused and on track. So, whether you’ve made new fitness or reading goals, or are just hoping for a boost to move more in the year ahead, an audiobook on the Libby app and some fresh air will make the perfect pairing.

Mystery & thriller

A suspenseful read can be a great exercise companion. Not only does the edge-of-your-seat story keep your heart rate up, but you’re way more likely to stay hooked and keep on moving as the plot unfolds.

the_frozen_river.jpgThe Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon

A perfect winter read, this historical mystery is inspired by the life and diary of Martha Ballard, a renowned 19th-century midwife who defied the legal system and wrote herself into American history. Clever, layered and subversive, Lawhon’s newest offering introduces an unsung heroine who refused to accept anything less than justice at a time when women were considered best seen and not heard.

resurrection_walk.jpgResurrection Walk by Michael Connelly

Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back, taking the long shot cases, where the chances of winning are one in a million. After getting a wrongfully convicted man out of prison, he is inundated with pleas from incarcerated people claiming innocence. He enlists his half brother, retired LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, to weed through the letters, knowing most claims will be false.

Part of the Lincoln Lawyer series that inspired the Netflix series.

good_girls_don_t_die.jpgGood Girls Don't Die by Christina Henry

This book will keep you guessing while you're moving! A sharp-edged, supremely twisty thriller about three women who find themselves trapped inside stories they know aren’t their own.

what_waits_in_the_woods.jpgWhat Waits in the Woods by Terri Parlato

Not a book to read while on a hike in the woods unless you really want to get that heart rate up! A young dancer’s homecoming is marred by a grisly discovery and the realization that nothing in her past may be quite what she believed. Kara, one of Esmé Foster's high school friends, is found dead in the woods behind the Foster family home. Day by day, Esmé discovers more about the place she left behind and the friends and family she thought she knew. Soon, shining a light into the darkness to learn what really happened the night Kara died is the only way she can bring the nightmare to an end.


Listening to nonfiction is great for minds like mine that may wander. I don’t have to worry about missing a plot point, and I love how it gives me the opportunity to dive deeper into a topic I’m interested in.

born_to_run.jpgBorn to Run by Christopher McDougall

A must-listen if you're a runner. The blissful Tarahumara Indians have honed the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury. In a riveting narrative, award-winning journalist and often-injured runner Christopher McDougall sets out to discover their secrets. In the process, he takes his readers from science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, where ever-growing numbers of ultra-runners are pushing their bodies to the limit, and, finally, to a climactic race in the Copper Canyons that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe.

feel_good_productivity.jpgFeel-Good Productivity by Ali Abdaal

What's more productive than reading a book about productivity while you exercise? The world's most-followed productivity expert will let you in on a secret: The secret to productivity isn't discipline. It's joy.

Ali reveals how the science of feel-good productivity can transform your life. He introduces the three hidden “energizers” that underpin enjoyable productivity, the three “blockers” we must overcome to beat procrastination and the three “sustainers” that prevent burnout and help us achieve lasting fulfillment. And he introduces the simple, actionable changes that you can use to achieve more and live better, starting today.

how_not_to_age.jpgHow Not to Age by Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM

Uncover the evidence-based science to slowing the effects of aging (I'll bet exercising is a great start!).

Physicians have long treated aging as a malady, but getting older does not have to mean getting sicker. There are eleven pathways for aging in our bodies' cells and we can disrupt each of them. And we can combat effects of aging without breaking the bank. Inspired by the dietary and lifestyle patterns of centenarians and residents of “blue zone” regions where people live the longest, Dr. Greger presents simple, accessibl, and evidence-based methods to preserve the body functions that keep you feeling youthful, both physically and mentally.

the_lost_tomb.jpgThe Lost Tomb by Douglas Preston

Keep your mind off your workout with an astonishing and compelling collection of true stories about buried treasure, enigmatic murders, lost tombs, bizarre crimes and other fascinating tales of the past and present. The bestselling author of The Lost City of the Monkey God, brings us jaw-dropping true stories of Egyptian burial chambers, prehistoric ruins, pirate treasure, bizarre crimes and more from his journalistic explorations.


There’s nothing healthier than a good laugh. These books not only provide a great ab workout from all of the belly laughs, but are also great mood lifters, so you’ll be feeling extra great after listening to these picks.

a_guide_to_midwestern_conversation.jpgA Guide to Midwestern Conversation by Taylor Kay Phillips

Even if you're not from the Midwest, you'll still laugh along at this affectionate, self-deprecating look at the language of a people long defined by their kindness and reduced to their voting patterns. Written by born-and-bred Midwesterner Taylor Kay Phillips, it’s a wink, a hug and a firm handshake (with eye contact) to the millions of Americans who say soda and pop interchangeably and grew up doing tornado drills in school. Welp, I’ll go ahead and get outta your hair.

i_didn_t_know_i_needed_this.jpgI Didn't Know I Needed This by Eli Rallo

From TikTok star Eli Rallo, an irreverent, laugh-out-loud funny and searingly honest take on modern dating and romance with tips, tricks and survival-guide style rules. With touching stories of her own adventures and mishaps, Eli helps you navigate dating in a way that’s frank, honest, funny and relatable, giving the advice that you didn’t even know you needed.

one_in_a_millennial.jpgOne in a Millennial by Kate Kennedy

This is a funny, nostalgic exploration of pop culture, the millennial zeitgeist and the life lessons learned from coming of age as a member of a much-maligned generation.

With her trademark style and vulnerability, One In a Millennial is sharp, hilarious and heartwarming all at once. She tackles AOL Instant Messenger, purity culture, American Girl Dolls, going out tops, Spice Girl feminism, her feelings about millennial motherhood and more. Kate’s laugh-out-loud asides and keen observations will have you nodding your head and maybe even tearing up on the treadmill.

*Title availability may vary by region.

Find these workout companions on the Libby reading app from your library.


About the Author

Annie Suhy has been working in the book industry since 2006. When she’s not working, practicing yoga, or petting cats, she’s doing paint-by-numbers and buying more plants. An avid poetry fan, her favorite collection is "The Splinter Factory" by Jeffrey McDaniel.


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