For 15 years, I worked in a fairly traditional office setting. Five of those were spent in newsrooms, where I only remember taking three lunch breaks and existing on meals I could eat one-handed (so I could keep typing with the other). The most activity I got on the job was the walk from my car to my desk and back, and even that felt exhausting.
The following decade gave me more freedom and flexibility with my hours, and a
new team of colleagues who embraced healthy eating, fitness and activity. So I turned my lunch breaks into walking sessions. I rode my bike to work. And I started listening to podcasts while sitting at my desk.
I discovered that having positive, motivational messages in my ears during the day helped inspire me to keep moving, and over the years, I’ve cultivated a list of shows and podcast hosts that are so good, I have a hard time waiting for new episodes to come out!
1. The School of Greatness Podcast with Lewis Howes
Lewis Howes has a quote right on his website and it perfectly sums up his podcast:
“LIFE SHOULD BE LIVED PASSIONATELY. OTHERWISE YOU’RE PLAYING ANOTHER PERSON’S GAME.”
He’s a former professional football player and New York Times bestseller who interviews everyone from fitness experts like Steve Cook and Steve Weatherford to double leg amputee athlete Amy Purdy and Ariana Huffington (who, among other things, is passionate about the need for people to sleep more!).
This podcast is so inspiring because it’s not all about losing weight or fitness. It’s about the mind-body connection and how health and wellness tie back to everything we do: it makes us better bosses (or employees), better parents and happier people altogether.
Chalene Johnson is a fitness instructor, wildly successful business woman, social media coach and much more. And her show (shows, actually — she has two!) are packed with nutrition, fitness and health tips, as well as business and organization advice for building a fitness career.
Funny enough, because I work at a standing desk (this is a great one), sometimes I catch myself doing squats or calf raises while listening to her. She’s so energetic that it comes right through the headphones!
Diane Sanfillippo and Liz Wolfe are the practical paleo experts, but their podcast is about much more than this caveman-style eating and wellness plan. Should you work out in the morning or evening? What should you or your friends do and consider when cravings hit? As well as how much those cravings impact what we eat affect our skin and breakouts?
These ladies also post the transcripts on their website, which I find really helpful if I need to go back and reference something they mentioned.
But no matter what or how you eat, this podcast will inspire you. The hosts also talk about getting and staying motivated to work out when you have a crazy schedule and how to become a runner (no joke: after binge-listening to one of their episodes all about ultrarunning, I started shopping for a treadmill desk).
5. TED Talks
Not all of the TED Talks are geared toward health and wellness, but they’re all thought-provoking. And I think the more you engage your brain, the more inclined you are to engage your other body parts and muscles, too.
Molly Winter’s presentation on a somewhat taboo subject (our bodily functions) is unexpectedly fascinating. Joseph Ravenell talks about how barbershops can keep men healthy. And how does exercise help us build new brain cells?
Because each episode features a different speaker, it all feels fresh and new.
Gretchen Rubin has spent her career experimenting with a pursuit of happiness, and then she shares what works, what doesn’t, and what others have discovered by following in her footsteps.
From interviews to book reviews to narratives on stories that make the news, Gretchen’s gentle but solid advice will have you smiling (or ready to do everything you can to start smiling!).
Heather has lost nearly 170 pounds and candidly shares the journey on her show, along with the pitfalls she faced along the way, and what she’s had to do to stay motivated even after her success.
Overcoming emotional eating, staying active while on vacation and during holidays and actually having fun even while the weight loss is still underway are all topics that Heather tackles. Speaking of eating, make sure you check out this post on avoiding overeating on the job from my fellow Quill contributor Laura Newcomer!
How do you fit fitness and wellness into your daily activities?
And what podcasts inspire you? I’d love to add some new episodes to my list!