Even with all the right mantras, plenty of motivation and a killer playlist, there will inevitably be days when your walk, run or workout feels like it's moving in slow motion. Thanks to technology, your very own on-demand entertainment is just a few clicks away. A motivating podcast can do wonders to speed up an exercise session and keep your mind engaged—maybe even inspired—from the first step to the last.
A podcast is an audio program that's geared toward a specific topic—similar to a radio show, but one in which you have full control over when and where you listen. The iTunes store serves up podcasts on every topic imaginable, from politics and pottery to cooking and cardio. Best of all? The vast majority are free, so you can stay entertained or informed without dropping a dime.
Your next walk or run will fly by with a good podcast in your pocket. Try a few of these top picks, or share your favorites in the comments!
Have you listened to any of these podcasts? What other programs would you recommend?
- The Good Life Project: This audio series is chock full of inspirational stories about finding happiness, success, creativity and love. Contributors include motivational celebrities like Elizabeth Gilbert, Seth Godin and Gretchen Rubin, along with everyday people sharing their personal experiences.
- The Fitzness Show: SparkPeople member PHDMAMA06 loves this entertaining and educational fitness podcast from fitness pro Fitz Koehler. She discusses everything from what to do after losing weight to raising fit and healthy kids, all with her signature fun, spunky demeanor.
- 40+ Fitness: The fitness terrain becomes a bit more challenging after 40, but that doesn't mean you should give up on your goals. Each 15-minute segment is chock full of tips for achieving better health and fitness habits in your 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond.
- The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous: The nutrition diva, Monica Reinagel, serves up practical, painless strategies for adopting healthier eating habits. As one reviewer says, "The host provides simple diet tips that are easy to incorporate in your daily routine and that won't leave you feeling deprived of your favorite foods."
- Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: Submitted by OBIESMOM2, this weekly NPR news quiz lets you test your current events knowledge while enjoying plenty of laughs along the way. You'll have so much fun, you'll forget you're exercising.
- Katy Says: Learn to use your body in the way nature intended with this intriguing podcast from biomechanics and movement advocate Katy Bowman. "This is a great way to get some amazing information about your body and how it works. Great for taking a walk or cooking dinner; I loved the movement suggestions," one reviewer says.
- Fit2Fat: This series focuses on healthy weight loss strategies that include lifestyle changes, not fad diets or quick fixes. As the podcast description says, "Stop eating and acting like a fat person and start emulating the diet and habits of a fit person." Join hosts Russ and Jeff as they bust myths and share fitness tips and recipes.
- Couch to 5K: Inspired by the Couch to 5K training program, these running podcasts are designed to take you from walk-run intervals to a run-walk and finally to 30 minutes of continuous running. Each installment is set to energizing music that keeps you motivated through your entire workout.
- Ask Me Another: A must-download for trivia buffs, this NPR podcast features a rotating cast of witty guests who field questions with a lively spirit. SparkPeople member OBIESMOM2 is a fan of this one.
- Main Street Vegan: Whether you've been a vegan for decades or are considering making the leap, this podcast is an informative and entertaining peek into vegan life. Host Victoria Moran interviews vegan guests, shares delicious recipes and provides guidance for newbies.
- Run, Selfie, Repeat: Who knew running could be so funny, and such a rich source of inspiration? Runner Kelly Roberts—described by a listener as inspiring, hilarious, real and raw—talks about how to find the happiest, strongest version of yourself, through not only fitness but all aspects of life.
- Ben Greenfield Fitness: If it's related to weight loss, nutrition or fitness training, Ben Greenfield has it covered. His training methods are widely acclaimed among elite athletes, but his lessons are equally useful for beginners.