Looking for podcast suggestions for exercise at work

Hi everyone! Longtime lurker, first time caller. This is my first thread, so I hope I’m doing it right.

Due to my work schedule and commute, it’s very difficult for me to fit exercise into my life. I’ve learned that the best time for me is during my lunch hour at work. I’m already antsy from sitting for too long and I always welcome a break from the desk. It’s not ideal (no shower, so I have to cope with washing up in the ladies’ room and a little extra scented lotion ;)) but it seems to work well for me, and I have my manager’s blessing.

So what’s the problem? Boredom. I can walk or run outside, but the scenery near my office is pretty dull and uninspiring. I can climb the stairs in my building, but that scenery is even worse. I’ve tried listening to music, but for whatever reason, that’s not motivating me either. I used to read a lot during my lunch hour and enjoyed that diversion in my day very much. So I think a good podcast might do the trick.

I have tried using exercise-specific podcasts such as the Couch to 5k series before. They are very effective for training, but I’m really looking for something to just zone out and give my brain a break during my lunch hour. Plus, it will motivate me to exercise so I can listen to the next episode!

Does anyone have any suggestions for lighthearted but interesting podcasts that might be good for this? I appreciate literature, humor, the arts, current events, history, and science. The SDMB seems very well read, so I figured this was a good place to ask. Some friends have suggested This American Life and Penn Gillette’s podcasts. Do you have any other recommendations?

Thanks! :slight_smile:


History, Eh? The best one, that just won a listener award for the best historical podcast, is The History of Rome. Nice compact episodes of 15-20 minutes, they’re up to #122 covering 285AD and Diocletian.

I listen to most of the podcasts from HowStuffWorks.com while I work out. Stuff You Should Know, Tech Stuff, Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff Your Mom Never Told You.

They are on iTunes and on the HSW site. Love 'em!

I like ‘Radiolab’ (www.radiolab.org), sometimes I listen to it while jogging.

You might like the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me podcasts.

Literature and history rolled into … um several podcasts:
The DRAGNET radio serial from 1948 to (I think they are up to 1953 atm) http://www.otrdetectives.com/dragnet/2010/11/
Great Detectives of Old time radio - Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Dollar, The thin man, Nero Wolf etc
I am not a huge fan of westerns but I am loving these - Old Time Radio Westerns: Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco kid, Challenge of the Yukon, Texas Rangers, have gun will travel etc.
Some of the old ads are a complete hoot - especially the ones during the war (Save your fats people!) It is amazing to see how much society has changed (Smoke Fatima - the best of king size cigarettes!).

[li]Radiolab, as already mentioned[/li][li]The Moth, http://www.themoth.org/podcast - ‘real life stories, told without notes’[/li][li]It’s a bit more ‘strange stories by strange authors for strange listeners’ than ‘literature’, but you did say ‘humour’, so the Drabblecast, www.drabblecast.org[/li][/ul]

Dr. Karl’s BBC 5 Live podcast. Any Australian will know who he is. It’s a one hour call in radio show, where Dr. Karl answers questions on all sorts of subjects, mostly science related. He’s funny, very knowledgeable, and isn’t afraid to say that he doesn’t know the answer.

Give it a try.

This is fantastic! I didn’t know HowStuffWorks had podcasts. They were easily my favorite place to kill time on the web before Wikipedia came along, and the quality of the content is superior in many cases. I’ll definitely have to check these out, thanks!

I know what you mean - it’s fun to read old issues of National Geographic to see the old car and computer ads. And Playboy is a ton of fun for the same reason. (Yes, I read Playboy for the advertisements, doesn’t everyone? :p)

These are all great suggestions - thank you! I look forward to checking them out and trying a few episodes of each. I may find something good for my commute as well.

I’m a big fan of James Burke’s “Connections” series, if that helps explain my interests a little better. It’s a great fusion of science, history, and speculation with amazing delivery of course. So maybe medicated’s suggestion is a good place to start.

Askance, I am not sure about the History of Rome podcast for myself but I bet my fiance would love it. He is a big Civ 5 player and I think we have every History Channel show about Rome on our Netflix instant queue. I’ll definitely pass it along.

tavalla, strange stories by strange authors for strange listeners sounds like the best thing ever!

I recently misplaced my iPod and found my lunch break workout to be almost unbearable. I only wish I had more time to absorb all this great stuff:

This American Life: the best thing that ever happened to radio

Backstory: awesome take on American history topics

The Ethicist: short but sweet

Hometown Tales: this is hit or miss, but if you enjoy tales of the weird, you might like hearing these two guys talk about them

BBC’s In Our Time: British academics take on history and science topics

Car Talk: enjoyable even if you don’t care one iota about cars

Planet Money: economic topics made interesting (how can you not love the fact that they bought a “toxic asset” and nick-named it Toxie)
Travel with Rick Steves: another radio show. I find his enthusiasm grating after more than a rew episodes, but still offers great insights on traveling the world.

I listen to podcasts of The Story (www.thestory.org) while I exercise. Each episode is about 50 minutes and is broken into two interviews of people with interesting stories to tell. I also agree that Car Talk is great even if you don’t know/care about cars.