English Listening Exercises for B2 – Keeping fit

1. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the words below.

adrenalin      burn      burst      convert      energy      high-intensity      pump

1) When you are exercising, the body ____________ fat and sugar into ____________ so that you can keep going.

2) Running fast releases ____________ , which helps you to ____________ fat.

3) The most effective way to get fit is by doing short ____________ of ____________ exercise.

4) If you exercise hard, you can feel your heart ________

Show answers

1) converts, energy   2) adrenalin, burn   3 bursts, high intensity   4) pumping

2. Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs below.

attend       be      beat      do      go      keep      lift      pedal      play      push

1) I play to win – I ____________ quite competitive and I’m never happier than when I’ve ____________ an opponent.

2) I never ____________ running alone after dark.

3) I enjoy ____________ fit. It makes me feel healthy.

4) I train hard and always ____________ self to the limit.

5) dad regularly ____________ weights in the gym, but he hurt his back last week.

6) mum ____________ a lot of fitness classes at the local gym, but she likes ____________ aerobics most of all.

7) brother ____________ on an exercise bike in his bedroom. He says it’s safer than going outside!

8) He doesn’t enjoy ____________ football. He prefers swimming and running.

Show answers

1) am, beaten   2) go   3) keeping   4) push   5) lifts

6) attends, doing   7) pedals   8) playing

Listening Strategy

Remember that the information in the task may be expressed in a different way in the text.

3. Read the Listening Strategy. Then read the sentences and listen to five speakers. What words did the speakers actually use to express these things?

1) Speaker 1 dislikes exercising.



2) Speaker 2 wonders why his chosen sport is unpopular with his peers.



3) Speaker 3 talks about the body’s preferred form of exercise.



4) Speaker 4 describes her family’s favourite pastime.



5) Speaker 5 explains how what we eat is converted into fuel for the body.



Show answers

1) I just can’t stand sport or going to the gym.

2) I really don’t understand why more people age don’t play it.

3) in short bursts of fast activity

4) We have a trampoline in our garden and we all love bouncing on it.

5) a type of sugar called glucose, which goes directly into our blood for energy.


1) It’s terrible, I know, but I just can’t stand sport or going to the gym. I’ll take the dog for a walk, but that’s about it.

2) favourite sport is table tennis. It’s incredibly fast and skilful and I really don’t understand why more people age don’t play it.

3) Our bodies prefer to exercise in the way our ancestors did – in short bursts of fast activity.

4) We have a trampoline in our garden and we all love bouncing on it, even mum.

5) Our food is converted into a type of sugar called glucose, which goes directly into our blood for energy.

4. Listen to four texts where people talk about their preferred form of exercising. Choose the correct answers (a-c).

Text 1

1) These speakers explain

a how their favourite activity doesn’t involve teamwork.

b that they don’t like the gym or sports.

c what it takes to succeed in their favourite activity.

Text 2

2) This speaker’s intention is to

a detail his sport’s training regime.

b explain why the sport’s rules are important.

c warn that his sport is very dangerous.

Text 3

3) This speaker is explaining

a the effects of exercise on the various muscle groups.

b how exercise also affects the mind.

c that exercise must be regular to be beneficial.

Text 4

4) This speaker talks about

a how much he enjoys training with his father.

b why his father is paying for his training.

c how difficult the training is for a triathlon.

Show answers

1) c   2) b   3) c   4) a



a We don’t go to the gym or play sports much, do we, Lottie?

b No, not really. We have to do sports at school, and that’s OK, but it’s not really how I like to exercise.

a No, we prefer dancing! Specifically, ballroom dancing.

b Yes, we’ve been going to classes together for years, since we were ten ___

a And we’ve both got partners. I’ve been dancing with Dave for four years. He’s one year younger than me but he’s really good.

b And partner’s Jonathon. He’s brilliant. And we all get on really well.

a And we all practise together – almost every night when there’s a competition.

b Yes, the four of us take part in ballroom dancing competitions together. We wear identical costumes and we all have to dance at exactly the same speed and time and movement. It’s very difficult, but we’ve got quite good at it and have started getting medals ___

a And earlier this year we won our regional junior championships!

b Yes, we were all thrilled about that. And so were our families. They’re our biggest supporters.


I’m a huge rugby fan, both watching it and playing it. Our local rugby club is very good and we train hard on a Friday night to prepare for matches and tournaments, which are usually on Sundays. Our team regularly wins the under-18s competitions. I love rugby because, although it is aggressive, it’s actually very disciplined. As the sport can be dangerous, you have to stick to the regulations, or you can get injured – sometimes quite badly. Our coaches are very strict with us and make sure no-one does a risky move that could endanger someone else. But it’s still a fast and furious sport and I’ve always got bruises!


a Professor, can you explain some of the benefits of exercise for us and our bodies?

b Certainly. Firstly, exercise requires oxygen, so you breathe faster and your heart pumps more blood to your muscles, which become stronger. The heart is a muscle too, and it needs exercise to keep it strong.

a What else happens in the body?

b Well, with regular exercise, the lungs become stronger and more efficient over time, and your bones become stronger. These are really important changes for later in life. But it appears that one of the most important effects that exercise has is on our brains.

a And how is that?

b Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which immediately helps it function better and encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity.

a Really? I didn’t know that.

b Yes, and during exercise our brains release chemicals which protect the brain and the body and improve our mood at the same time. Over time, this can have a really positive effect.

a So it’s a win-win situation?

b Yes. Regular exercise is the key to a healthier – and happier – life.


dad is a triathlete. He trains in his spare time – he’s a teacher – but he’s quite dedicated, especially if he’s got a race coming up. I’ve begun to join him when I can. I now go with him on his morning swim sessions. We swim before work and school, about three times a week. I don’t like the early mornings, but once I’m there, it feels great. I’ve always been a good swimmer so it’s fun, really. Three times a week, when he comes home from work, we’ll go out for a run. I’m faster than him, but he has more endurance for the longer runs. At the weekends we cycle. Dad bought me first racing bike, and it’s amazing. It took a bit of getting used to – especially as you have to attach your shoes to the pedals – but I love it. We’re now preparing for a triathlon at the end of the summer, which is perfect timing as we have the summer holidays to do lots of training. I’m quite excited.

Extra exercises


Most of the questions in a multiple-choice task will ask you to find specific information. However, you may also be asked to identify the main idea or the context of the text.

1 Read the Strategy. Then read the questions in exercise 2. Which one does not ask you to find specific information? Is this question related to the context or the main idea?

Show answers

Question 5 is related to the main idea of the text

2. You will hear an interview with Dr Marilyn Shepherd about food safety. Answer questions 1-5. Choose the correct answer, A, B, C, or D.

1) In order to minimise the risk from raw chicken, Dr Shepherd recommends

a maintaining it at a constant temperature until using it.

b handling it with clean hands and utensils.

c keeping it wrapped and placing it in the fridge.

d checking that it contains no bacteria before cooking it.

2) Dr Shepherd suggests that the best way to find out if chicken is cooked properly is

a to check that the juices are pink when you cut it.

b to test the part where the meat is the deepest.

c to cut a piece from one end and taste it.

d to use a food thermometer to ensure it has reached 70°C.

3) Dr Shepherd explains that beef is different from other kinds of meat because

a bacteria tend to stay on the surface.

b it mustn’t be cooked right through to the middle.

c it doesn’t contain any harmful bacteria.

d the guidelines on handling it are stricter.

4) Microwaves are effective at killing bacteria.

a in food which hasn’t been put in the fridge.

b in all kinds of food except rice.

c in food that was originally heated to 74°C.

d in food that has been heated up evenly.

5) What might be the title of Dr Shepherd’s talk?

a How to tell if food has gone off

b How to treat food poisoning

c How to take care of what you eat

d How to organise your fridge

Show answers

1)2)3)4) D  5) C


Presenter Hello and welcome to the programme. Every year about a million people suffer from food poisoning in the UK, which would suggest that we need to be a bit more careful about what we eat. Our food expert, Dr Marilyn Shepherd, is here with us today to give us a few tips on food safety. Marilyn, what seems to be the biggest cause of food poisoning?

Marilyn Well, Rob, it appears to be chicken. There’s bacteria in raw chicken that causes more than a quarter of all the cases of food poisoning in the country, so you need to be really careful with it. Raw chicken should always be kept in the fridge, and you should make sure that it’s covered and doesn’t come into contact with any of the other food in there. After handling raw chicken, you should always wash your hands, knives and chopping boards with soap and hot water.

Presenter Are there any precautions we should take when we’re cooking chicken?

Marilyn When you’re cooking chicken, you need to make sure that it’s done right through to the middle so as to kill all of the bacteria. When you cut into the thickest part of the chicken, there shouldn’t be any pink meat, and the juices should be clear, not pink. If you want to be really sure that it’s cooked properly, you could buy a meat thermometer. Chicken is supposed to reach 74ºC to be safe to eat.

Presenter Thanks for that, Marilyn. So you’re saying that chicken has to be cooked thoroughly. How about other meat? Some people like their beef rare, for example.

Marilyn That’s right, Rob, and rare beef is perfectly safe, as long as it’s well-cooked on the outside to kill the surface bacteria. You see, pieces of beef have a very dense texture that bacteria can’t go through, so it’s not so important to cook it right through to the middle. You can also eat raw beef, like steak tartare, for example, but this is only safe to eat when the meat has been handled following strict food safety guidelines. As for other kinds of meat, they should all be cooked through to the middle.

Presenter Let’s talk about leftover food now, Marilyn. Is it safe to reheat it?

Marilyn Yes, reheating food is fine, as long as you heat it to 74ºC all the way through to kill the bacteria. If you’re using a microwave, you should mix the food halfway through to ensure that there aren’t any cold spots that still have bacteria. And you have to be extra careful with rice. Rice has a bacteria which produces a toxin that is not destroyed by heat. Reheating the rice kills the bacteria, but it doesn’t remove the toxin. To reduce the risk of food poisoning, put cooked rice in the fridge as soon as possible after cooking, and reheat it only once.

Presenter That all makes perfect sense, Marilyn. Thank you for joining us.

Marilyn pleasure.

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