I knew it was coming and I still got goosebumps. It happened during an early Saturday morning walk this past summer.
If there were no health or fitness benefits would you ever do another squat in your life? How about push-ups? Pull-ups? If the ONLY reason for doing any of those was pure enjoyment, would you ever consider doing any of these activities again? I sure wouldn’t.
But, walking is different. Yes, there are plenty of health and fitness benefits, but I’d still take long walks even if there weren’t. I enjoy it that much.
One of the reasons I love walking so much is that it’s when I listen to podcasts. I enjoy them almost as much as the walking. It was a podcast that delivered that “goosebumps moment.”
What are podcasts?
Podcasts are audio content on demand. In other words, these are prerecorded shows that you can download onto your phone and then listen to whenever you want.
The great thing about podcasts is that most focus on a very specific topic. For example, I learned a lot about blogging by listening to podcasts. That’s how specific and helpful podcasts can be.
Most podcast shows update their episodes on a regular basis anywhere from daily to monthly. The shows can be as short as a few minutes or as long as several hours. Most shows, though, are between 25 and 60 minutes….just right for a long walk.
How do you listen to podcasts?
At it’s most basic level, podcasts are free and you find and listen to them through an app on your phone. The iPhone comes with a Podcast app. In the app you search for shows that interest you…and even specific episodes. Once you find something that looks interesting you can download it onto your phone and listen on your next walk.
It sounds simple enough, but the more challenging part is finding podcasts you like. There are hundreds of thousands of possibilities and that’s overwhelming. Also, the titles don’t always offer a lot of information about the content. Pick a couple clunkers and you’re no longer interested in any podcast because the effort no longer feels worth it.
That’s how I felt for awhile. And, then I found one I really liked. That opened the door for me. I figured there had to be others. And, there were.
How do you find interesting podcasts?
There are three ways to do this.
The iPhone Podcast app has a section called Browse. This is where you’ll find the most popular podcasts and new releases.
For example, I’m interested in football so I’ll browse until I find one that looks interesting. I read Peter King’s weekly online column every Monday and here’s a podcast from Peter. I didn’t know he had one so already I’m excited I may have found another podcast that I’ll like.
After I touch the show image it takes me to a list of episodes. When I discover a new podcast I like to find one episode that looks the most interesting. I do that by scrolling through all the available episodes until one really grabs my attention. This one looks good.
To download onto my phone I touch that plus sign which becomes a cloud with an arrow. I touch that and it takes a few seconds to download onto my phone. Once it’s downloaded I can listen to it whenever and wherever I want because I won’t be streaming it.
When I’m ready to listen I’ll access this podcast episode through the Library in the podcast app.
I found that podcast because Apple Podcasts had it featured in a section with other podcasts about the NFL. You can also browse through the different categories like News, Comedy, Sports, History, Society & Culture, and more to help you narrow your search and find a show that looks interesting. All of this is accessed using Browse on the bottom strip of your Apple Podcast app.
The second way to find a show you’re interested in is by using the Search feature next to Browse.
One of the most powerful aspects of podcasting is just how specific a show can get. Whatever you’re interested in there’s a high likelihood you can find a podcast for it. For example, when I was a boy I had a passion for model railroading. I loved it! Guess what…there are quite a few podcasts for people who have that interest.
Use the search feature to type in a topic or a name and see what pops up. If you find a show you can then dig in to find an episode you’d like to listen to and download it onto your phone.
The third way to find new shows is within a podcast you already enjoy. Simply scroll below the episodes, below the ratings and reviews, and you’ll see an area titled “You Might Also Like”. Here’s where you can find other shows with a similar theme or category of the one you’ve already found.
Once you get familiar with the Podcast app and how to find different shows and episodes you might even enjoy the search. It’s fun when you discover a new potential gem.
One more thing!
Listening to podcasts while I walk used to be an occasional thing. I enjoyed them, but hated the ear buds that made it possible. My hands would swing and hit the cord, pulling the phone out of my pocket. Once it even fell and the screen cracked. Not a good day. I also have a hard time keeping those stupid buds in my ears. That can get a little frustrating. Actually, a LOT frustrating.
That all changed when I found the AfterShokzcordless headphones. They actually sit behind your ears so you can hear what’s happening in the world around you as you walk…like an approaching car. You can read my review HERE.
(By the way…if you use a provided link and make a purchase this blog receives a small commission.)
I listen to podcasts while I’m walking to learn. I listen to be entertained. I listen to be inspired. But, mostly I listen to podcasts because it makes an activity that’s good for me even better. I’m even more motivated to go walk and this increases the fitness and health benefits. It’s a win win!
My all-time favorite podcast is “13 Minutes to The Moon.” This is a perfect example of just how niche podcasts can be. I was just the right age when the Apollo missions were landing on the moon. It captured my imagination and never let go.
As an adult I’ve loved learning even more about this amazing time in history. This past summer was the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, Apollo 11.
This special 12 part podcast series from the BBC examined the final 13 minutes before Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the surface. That’s how focused this special podcast was.
I could tell you how four things that happened during those 13 minutes almost cancelled the moon landing, but I won’t. I understand this is my passion not yours. Here’s what I will tell you…how a podcast and a walk combined for a moment that still gives me goosebumps when I think about it.
I saved the final episode of this podcast for an early morning walk on July 20, 2019. This was the actual anniversary date of the moon landing. The sky was clear and the moon was still visible.
Can you feel it?
I was walking and listening to those dramatic 13 minutes with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in the lunar module named Eagle.
I knew it was coming. At the right moment I stopped and looked up at the moon.
Buzz Aldrin: “Contact light. Okay. Engine stop…
Mission Control: “We copy you down Eagle.”
Neil Armstrong: “Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed”
You may not feel it, but I sure did. Walking and podcasts. It’s a great combination!
If you’ve never listened to a podcast it might take a few tries to find one you really like. Don’t give up because the end result is worth it. If you already enjoy podcasts keep exploring. I’m excited to listen to the Peter King podcast I just found.
In fact, I think I’ll go for a walk now.
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Walking is fitness hiding in plain sight. The 30 Day Fitness Challenge will help you set the perfect Fitbit goal for you. The Challenge includes a contract you can make with yourself. That might sound cheesy, but having a signed piece of paper is a powerful motivator on those days when you just don’t feel like it.
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If you don’t have a Fitbit I recommend the Fitbit Inspire HR. This is the Fitbit I use to track my 20,000 steps a day. The Inspire HR also tracks your heart rate and sleep so you get an even wider picture of your fitness progress.
(By the way…if you use the link above to but a Fitbit Inspire HR this blog will receive a small commission. It won’t add anything to what you pay, but letting you know is the right thing to do)
Lastly, this blog is designed to help you embrace walking as a fitness activity. It’s sustainable, flexible, effective, and fun. Every week I post new articles with stories and helpful suggestions to Win at Fitness.
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