A walking workout can be a nice break from an otherwise stressful day, but sometimes you need more than just the birds and scenery to keep your mind occupied. Enter: technology.
With thousands of digital ways to distract yourself during a walk — including music, games and mobile apps — your workout will be done before you know it. We hand-picked our eight favorite podcasts to entertain, motivate and inform you during walks of any length.
Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project,” knows a thing or two about being happy. Three of her books have been on The New York Times best-seller list, and she has sold more than one million print and online copies of her happiness-focused books worldwide.
In this podcast, Rubin explores all things happiness with her sister, Elizabeth Craft, a television writer and producer. Together, they provide valuable, doable suggestions for being happier in your everyday life. Episodes have covered the downside of apologizing, how to remember names and why perfection is a fallacy.
If you love a good mystery but you’re admittedly too afraid to watch a scary movie alone, this podcast is for you. Each installment tells the story of a new mystery — but instead of your typical blood-curdling, creep-you-out-for-days type of mystery, the host solves much less hard-hitting puzzlers.
The podcast is commentated by a very witty and inquisitive Starlee Kine, who seeks to solve everyday mysteries in her own life. Nail-biting topics include the origins of a “Welcome Back, Kotter” drawing on a child’s lunch box and tracking down the owner of an old belt buckle — all approached with a sense of urgency, as if society depended on knowing the meaning behind a cryptic license plate.
No list would be complete without the inclusion of this chart-topping, award-winning series, hosted by “This American Life” producer Sarah Koenig.
In case you’ve never heard of this podcast, “Serial” has thus far run for two seasons, each focusing on a different real-life court case. The first season follows the 1999 murder of a Baltimore teen, while season two delves into the military desertion case of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Koenig narrates with such curiosity and relatability, you’ll be hooked from first listen. Each episode builds on the last, so you’ll want to listen to them in order.
This wildly popular podcast is hosted by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, two writers from the site HowStuffWorks.com. The pair cover random topics that they deem deserve a closer look, from bodily functions to the importance of body language and how reverse psychology works.
You could argue whether or not you should know how to do the moonwalk, for example, but you can be sure to end each episode a little wiser and at least mildly entertained.
If you’re lucky enough to attend a TED Talk in person, you are guaranteed to leave a) smarter, b) stronger or c) motivated to go do something great. This podcast is a way to reap these benefits on the go.
Each episode features the audio of a different 18-minute TED Talk from experts like professors, scientists, philanthropists, business people, musicians, athletes and more. TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks are known across the world as a place to see and hear brilliant ideas from speakers in various industries, and each talk will leave you smarter and more inspired in less than 20 minutes.
The Forward Podcast with Lance Armstrong
Regardless of how you feel about the embattled cyclist, Armstrong’s new podcast is worth a listen. Each episode features a conversation with one of his famous and brilliant friends (Think: musician Ben Harper and Alamo Drafthouse founder and CEO Tim League) about anything and everything under the sun. And even though this is Armstrong’s podcast, he uses this opportunity to step out of the limelight and tell the unique stories of his real-life friends.
While he may make a few references to his sordid past here and there, those looking to hear Armstrong talk about his doping scandal should look elsewhere (we hear Oprah might have something for you). In fact, we suspect the selection of the podcast’s name coincides with his attitude about his personal and professional life: moving forward, one day at a time.
Want to live your best life? “GLP,” as insiders call it, is a community of individuals “on a quest to help each other live more meaningful, connected and vital lives.” This twice-weekly podcast features an interview with influentials who offer life-changing advice, motivation and inspiration. Guests have included “Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert, marketing maven Seth Godin and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington.
From advice on better sleep to being happier at work, each episode is dedicated to helping you improve your mind, body and soul to truly live the “good life.”
The Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous
In this food-focused series, nutritionist and professionally trained chef Monica Reinagel provides “foodie-friendly” advice for eating healthier and feeling better. Each episode focuses on a different diet concern, such as sodium, artificial sweeteners and cravings.
Reinagel’s practical approach to healthy eating is not only easy to adapt in your life, but also provides unbiased information in a “quick and dirty” delivery of 15 minutes or less.
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