From nutrition truths to powerful mental health stories – fitness journalist Howard Calvert shares five life-enriching podcast that you should be listening to.
23% of us listened to a podcast in the past month and, on average, we spend more than 3.6 hours per week listening to shows, according to research by Acast. Podcasts are booming because they educate, inspire and challenge us – all while on the go.
In fact, the most popular time to listen is while travelling. Your commute is the perfect time to plug in and learn something new. But which ones to choose? Journalist Howard Calvert filters out five of the best new health podcasts out there, each one aims to improve your life in some way. They’re all full of genuinely useful tips, nuggets of wisdom and relatable interviews.
1. Learn how to give your running the edge
Why? If 2019 is the year you’ve decided to take up running, this is the podcast you need in your life. A marathon runner herself, host Amy Hopkinson shares invaluable tips on everything from what to eat before pounding the pavements, to preventing chafing and where to get affordable kit. Hopkinson’s enthusiasm is infectious, and whether you’re training towards a 5k or a marathon, this podcast will help you get there.
Average episode length: 45 minutes
Episode to start with: Episode 5 – Strength Training Tips for Runners
Hopkinson is joined by her coach Luke Worthington, who stresses how important it is for runners to build muscle strength, and shares a useful workout you can do at home.
2. Get clued up on the latest nutrition facts (and fads)
What? The Food Medic
Why? Dr Hazel Wallace is not only a doctor but an author, nutritionist, personal trainer and a podcaster. The Food Medic has just launched its second season and its focus is on living a healthier life – from how to improve your gut health to sexual health and periods. Recent episodes have featured guests such as Dr Rangan Chatterjee, who provides tips for reducing stress in your life.
Average episode length: 40 minutes
Episode to start with: Series 2 Episode 5 – Ditching Diet Culture
This discussion with Laura Thomas (who hosts the Don’t Salt My Game podcast about diet fads) focuses on intuitive eating; exploring the reasons why many people have a complicated relationship with food and how filtering your social media feed can help.
3. Feel more in tune with your mental health
What? I Am. I Have
Why? Happiful Magazine and Counselling Directory launched this new mental health podcast at the start of 2019. Host Lucy Donoughue talks to guests about their mental health, investigating the ways in which you can help yourself – whether it’s through the power of talking or learning from other people’s techniques and methods. Guests so far include Ben Bidwell, aka The Naked Professor, and vlogger Estée Lalonde, who discuss how they overcame their mental health issues.
Average episode length: 30 minutes
Episode to start with: Episode 5 – Jo Love
One to download if you have a negative relationship with social media. Mental health advocate Love has an eye-opening chat about social media, revealing ways to avoid scrolling burnout and how to stop being available 24/7.
4. Learn how to live more consciously
Why? Ella and Matthew Mills, the husband and wife team behind Deliciously Ella cover the worlds of nutrition, physical and mental health and business and wellbeing. Season 2 kicked off in January and has so far explored diet myths, how to consume a balanced vegan diet and global lessons in happiness.
Average episode length: 40 minutes
Episode to start with: If Food Waste Was A Country…
Tessa Clarke, from food waste app Olio, makes you rethink how you dispose of leftovers via startling facts about how kitchen waste affects the climate.
5. Take inspiration from amazing runners and cyclists
Why? The hugely popular running and cycling app Strava recently launched its own podcast where Strava users tell their inspirational stories. You’ll hear real experiences, including the story of a runner who took up the sport following a sexual assault and how running empowered her to speak out.
Average episode length: 35 minutes
Episode to start with: Episode 2 – Getting Better with Age
A look at how ageing affects athletic ability. It’s worth listening to just for the inspirational interview with Gene Dykes, who started by running 50-mile races, then 100-milers, then a 238-miler and a sub-3 hour marathon – all in his sixties and seventies!
Looking for more healthy audio inspiration? You can get up to 30% off an annual subscription to Headspace as a Vitality member.