And a couple of years ago, I listened to the collected works of Douglas Adams the same way, including the Hitchhiker radio plays as well as those books read by Douglas, and both Dirk Gently books (warmly recommended).
Today, under the Gibson post, Dave commented:
I prefer audio books as I can do other things. Got the idea from Stephen Fry, who shed the (significant amount of) weight he'd put on by walking, making the walking bearable by listening to audio books on his ipod. I thought that I would try that, and it works. You eat the miles without even realizing it.
Indeed. Books are bad for your activity level, but audiobooks can be the opposite. And I just bought several Gibson audiobooks, so I've started with the regimen again. Even on a cold evening like today, it's pleasurable for me.
Main downside is that even a short walk makes me very hot and sweaty. I wonder if I have a very active metabolism or what.
By the way, it seems the experts agree: excercise is for general health, not for losing weight. Simply because it makes you hungry. Exercise only makes you lose weight in extremely high doses, says my health guru. You lose weight by eating food high in nutrients and protein, and scaling down on foods high in fat and sugar. It's not very hard unless you have intense cravings. If you have those, it's an emotional issue.
What you write about exercise and weight rings true with me.
Still, sports does have some use, as much as I hate it:
"What you don't want is fat around your liver or heart, and this can happen even if you look fine on the outside. Dieting isn't what you need to shift this - it's exercise."
Prof. Jimmy Bell in “Fat neck a clue to heart risk”, BBC News.
Dr Pascal said:
I'm aware that, according to recent studies, exercise supposedly doesn't help lose weight AT ALL.
That's forgetting decades of empirical observation: NOT exercising helps make you fat. And you seldom get slimmer just from the effort of sitting on your fat ass!
Not to mention that the overall health benefits of reasonable physical exercise (again, almost anybody can walk, if they manage to fit it in their lifestyle) have indirect consequences on weight.
Remember: exercise causes the secretion of endorphins, improving one's sense of well-being, and very effectively thwarting the "reward-eating" mechanism of depressive mood. Also, when you're moving around, you're not snacking out of habit and driven by boredom.