Good music is sometimes the key to getting through a workout comfortably. You can pick tunes with a tempo that matches your cadence for a smooth run. Turning up the volume on rock classics can get you up and over hills. And listening to your new favorite song, well, that will just make you happy. And workouts are easier when you are happy. But what other options are out there when you’re feeling less than inspired by the tracks on your iPod? Here’s a few suggestions from an Oakland chiropractor that are not so musical, but still stimulating and motivating. The best part is that they’re all available for free at the iTunes store.
1. Nutrition Diva’s Podcast: http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/
Monica Reinagel is the Nutrition Diva. She’s got a whole bunch of letters after her name. She’s a board-certified licensed nutritionalist, and a professionally trained chef among other things. Her resume is quite impressive, but don’t let that steer you away with the thought that this podcast will be a tedious listen. She manages to take complicated nutrition topics, and break them down into memorable bite-sized chunks of information. She cleverly presents her information with plenty of examples and quick stories, leaving the listener with some solid takeaway knowledge that they won’t soon forget. Each podcast is about 5 minutes long, so load up a handful of them before you head out for a run or bike ride…you’ll be surprised at how much you learn with such little effort!
2. Radiolab: www.radiolab.org
The two hosts of this radio show weave stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries. One story that sticks out in my mind was called “Damn It, Basal Ganglia.” I feel the need to push up the bridge of my proverbial glasses and adjust my pocket protector for admitting that I often geek-out on stories like this. But just read the description of this story! How could you not be curious? Radiolab stories are about an hour long, so if you aim to go running for 45 minutes, you’ll want to tack on some additional mileage just to hear the stories’ conclusions!
3. NPR StoryCorps Podcast: http://www.npr.org/series/4516989/storycorps
StoryCorps is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record and share the stories of their lives. Each story is only about 5 minutes long, and I’ve never heard similar stories despite having been a listener for several years. I remember listening to one story that was a son interviewing his dad (who had Alzheimer’s). It was both fascinating and heartbreaking to hear the dad ask the son, “What’s your name again?” after reminiscing in detail about some memories they shared. Some episodes will shock you, others will humble you, but they will all hold your attention and inspire you to keep going!
4. The Moth: http://themoth.org/
The Moth podcast is stories told live from the stage in New York. It’s real people telling their true stories, however embarrassing, unbelievable, or unusual they may be. Averaging about 15 minutes, these stories are the perfect length to become engrossed in during a short workout. In one podcast, a woman gets swept up into a cult and doesn’t even realize it. In another story a young woman meets her brother for the first time at their father’s funeral. Most stories are either hilarious, or super-emotional. Since they are recorded live, you feel like you are right there alongside the storyteller.
Try downloading some of these podcasts before your next run. Hopefully they will be just what you need to keep your mind distracted from how hard you’re working. And if you have a favorite podcast you listen to while exercising, please feel free to post it in the comments section below. And after your run, relax with this Rainy Day Drink That Won’t Destroy the Results of Your Hard Work.
Photo: public domain by its author, Robeter at the wikipedia project