Unlike garbage clickbait with headlines just like this one, I’ve actually started doing something that is legitimately enjoyable, helps me to lose weight, and actually increases my intelligence. It’s extremely straight-forward and very easy to do, so I thought I’d share and see if I can help a few people out…

Listening to Audiobooks has changed my life. And I’m not using that in the hyperbolic, colloquial sense, as in, “This slice of cheesecake will totally change your life!” It’s actually changed my life, for the better.

And, to make my life even more, erm… better, I’ve started listening to them while I do my morning cardio at the gym. The knock-on/radness-multiplier-effect is spectacular, because both learning and exercising become more enjoyable.

The Audible Mobile App

Reading a bit of history/economics via Audible

As some of you may know, I’ve struggled my whole life with obesity. During 2009/10 I lost almost 70kg in 14 months. You can read a bunch of articles I’ve written about that here, and see the Pica-award-winning one I wrote for Men’s Health here. For now, let’s just say I deal with it still and I exercise just about every day. Cardio is a big part of that. I do it every morning (just about) for 40 minutes. It can get really repetitive.

Then I discovered Audible. It’s an app that lets you buy and listen to audiobooks. There are other audiobook apps (and, if you’re cheap, I hear you can download pirate MP3s of most books) but I like Audible. That have just about every book out there, they’re affordable and the app has handy features, like the “back 30 seconds” button, and remembering where you left off every time.

This is probably a good time to note that I do not own any shares, nor have any vested interest in, Audible. I just dig them. They literally make me thinner and smarter.

As a result, I’ve read more than a dozen books in the last 4 or 5 months that I wouldn’t otherwise have read. I’ve been really consistent with my cardio, which I now look forward to all day. I listen in the car (Blutooth car radios are also awesome) and I’ve learnt a whole lot of things I would never have had time to read otherwise.

I’ve read books on science, evolution, history, philosophy, business, self-improvement, autobiographies and one fictional novel. Strangely, non-fiction is more enjoyable to me, as fiction (which I like to read as regular books) can get a little hard to follow, for some reason. Or maybe that’s just me.

You can get the Audible app for your smartphone for free. Then, set up an account and buy a book. I think you get a free one for joining (or for buying your first book, or something). Or, you can do what I do and subscribe. For $9.99 a month (about ZAR100) I get a monthly book. Any book I like. They vary in cost from about $2 to about $30. Since I get through about two books a month, I buy the expensive ones with my credits and the cheaper ones with my credit card.