Listening to podcasts while working out? A match made in heaven

Working out made easier with media distractions


Collegian File Photo

By Valerie Lehr, Collegian Correspondent

Are you wanting to go to the gym at the beginning of the new semester but nervous you have no idea what you’re doing?

Don’t worry — we’ve all been there. The gym can be daunting when you’re unsure of where to start. With the help of your phone, however, a nerve-wracking trip to the gym can turn into the beginning of a successful, productive workout routine you’ve been wanting to get into the swing of. Have you been meaning to catch up on your favorite TV show, podcast or even the news? Technology has a way of helping us tune out the world around us. Your favorite podcast can make the a plank not seem like the worst minute of your life or your favorite Netflix show can make 40 minutes on the elliptical seem like a breeze. Plus, you’re killing two birds with one stone! You can utilize technology to distract yourself with your media of choice while also bettering your physical health. Here are a few essential tips on how to use your phone to make going to the gym easy!

Do your research! Come up with a loose workout plan before hitting the gym and be prepared to keep your plans flexible and your mind open. The gym during the first few weeks of a new semester can be especially crowded, so be ready for the weight room to be full or for it to be tricky to get on the machine you want right away. If you find the amount of people at the gym during peak hours daunting, consider going at times when it’s less busy, such as in the early morning, especially on Saturdays, or later at night. Also, it’s important to make sure to budget your time properly so that you have time to stretch before and after your workout. If you can fit it into your schedule, consider taking some fitness classes at the Rec Center where you can learn an array of workout techniques. Schedules and times for these classes can be found on the IM Leagues app.

Invest in some reliable earbuds that won’t fall out or stop working halfway through your workout and find at least one podcast that you love on your desired music streaming service. Spotify and Apple podcasts are great options and alternatively there are some third-party apps such as Castro, Overcast and Pocket Casts. Motivational, news-oriented and even story-based podcasts are all particularly great choices if you’re looking to tune-out the noise of the gym and focus on something else. If there’s a show or movie that you have in mind, that’s a great option to distract yourself as well, especially if you’re getting your cardio in on a machine and need a screen to look at. Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video all have iOS and Android apps that you can utilize to watch shows on your phone. Hulu even offers a student discount bundle for $4.99 per month that includes limited commercial Hulu, Spotify premium and Showtime.

Integrating podcasts into your schedule is a fantastic way to stay in the loop with current political issues. Currently, Spotify is highlighting podcasts to help users better understand President Trump’s impeachment process. If you aren’t interested in that, there are, of course, plenty of other options in the world of podcasts. Some of the top podcasts on Spotify today are “Crime Junkie” by audiochunk, “The Daily” by the New York Times, “NPR News Now” by NPR, “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard” by Armchair Umbrella, “Stuff You Should Know” by iHeartRadio and HowStuffWorks and many other podcasts that cover almost any topic thinkable.

With the help of podcasts and shows, you can make your gym workout — whether it be your first workout ever or your first workout returning from winter break — feel like a breeze while both bettering your physical health and educating yourself about a topic of your choice. Podcasts can be utilized to break your workout up into manageable chunks, or to slug through a 35-minute session on a cardio machine. Using a timed form of media can even function as a way to time short core exercises like planks. Listening to a podcast that aligns with your personal growth goals while working out can be an incredibly effective way of incorporating the gym into your daily routine.

Valerie Lehr can be reached at [email protected]