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Life Enhancement: Running With Podcasts


MARCH 9, 2016

This is something that many of you are already doing, and have been doing for a while. So you get it. But if you haven’t yet dipped your toe into the vast ocean of the podcast world, it’s life-changing.

I used to have a really difficult time motivating myself to go running. Especially if I was out of the habit and trying to jumpstart it again. I would enjoy listening to music as I ran, but often found myself slightly bored and tired of my own thoughts. I liked the benefits that came from running, but didn’t exactly enjoy the activity itself.

And then I discovered podcasts.

At first I wasn’t sure I would be able to really focus on people talking while running and thought I would be distracted. But I found the opposite to be true. Podcasts provide me with inspiration and motivation and – the ones that I love- keep me extremely engaged while exercising. I regularly run about 3 times a week now without thinking twice.

And here’s the crazy part- I genuinely look forward to it!

These days, when I get ready for a run, I can’t wait to dive back into one of the weekly podcasts I follow. And have even been known to extend a run to finish an episode. (This may not be a big deal to some of you hardcore athletes, but I’ve never looked to spend more time pounding pavement than originally planned.)

I also find that my mind is often sharpened to the point of wandering away from the podcast and into my own epiphanies and ideas. I usually get home after a run now and rush to a notepad to write down all of the thoughts I’ve collected that are worth saving for later.

The bottom line is that listening to podcasts is a life filter for me because it brings me:

Clarity: By listening to uplifting topics, it sparks my own creative thinking and inspiration, in a way that I can’t as seamlessly manufacture in other settings.

Confidence: Unsurprisingly, working out regularly makes me feel healthy and generally pretty good about myself.

Connection: I have collected a toolbox of podcasts that I really connect with. And the time with my thoughts allows me to reconnect with myself several times a week. It's as if I'm also working out my mind.

Getting Started:

Pick your workout:

You may not be interested in running. But podcast listening works well with walking and other forms of fitness as well. So select your preferred method for working out


  • If you have an iPhone, you probably already have the free Podcast app. It looks like this: 

  • Once you download the app, you can easily find podcasts you might enjoy by searching for key words that reflect your interests – (i.e. sports, news, meditation, writing, starting a business, parenting, etc.)

  • You can also find the most popular podcasts by selecting the ‘Top Charts’ icon at the bottom of the screen

  • You may download podcasts to listen to later or stream them live. Also - they are free!

  • If you find a podcast you love, you can easily subscribe to it by clicking on the settings wheel on the podcast’s home screen


If you have an Android, there are several podcast apps available for download from GooglePlay, including Podstore, Doggcatcher and Stitcher.

Some of my favorite podcasts:

I love getting podcast recommendations, so here are a few of my own in case you’re interested:

o Happier by Gretchen Rubin

o The Good Life Project by Jonathan Fields

o TEDTalks

o This American Life

o Serial (Season 1 in particular)

o Modern Love

o Slate’s Political Gabfest

o Slate’s Cultural Gabfest

o EOFire by John Lee Dumas (daily interviews with entrepreneurs)

I’m still discovering new podcasts all the time. But these are some that I currently subscribe to. 

In Summary:

I’m constantly cheerleading podcasts to family and friends. And not just for exercise entertainment. But they are great to listen to on road trips, while commuting to work, during dinner prep in the kitchen, while cleaning the house, walking the dog, or sitting in waiting rooms. It brings us back to the days of radio – although it’s significantly more portable than the old days – where you didn’t have images to connect the meaning for you, you have just words and sounds and you create your own vision.

And, if you’re like me, it feels like you’re being more productive and purposeful by listening while doing things that might otherwise feel monotonous or boring. Sure, there are purists out there that prefer to connect with their environment while running or doing other tasks. But, for me, it works. I’d be interested to hear if it works for you too.

If you’re a seasoned podcast aficionado, please leave a comment here and share some of your favorites!

"I just tallied up the 53 unheard episodes sitting in my podcast library, and, doing so, felt none of the guilt, dread, or FOMO that, say, my clogged Instapaper queue can inspire in me. What I felt instead was excitement at the prospect of 53 ingredients for a binge that will come with no bloat, 53 pieces of candy that will make my teeth stronger, 53 ways to feel like I’m being productive with my time while I’m wasting time." - Jonah Weiner,

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