If you’re a serious walker, listening to podcasts is a great way to keep your walks fun and interesting. Not all of us have a walking buddy or trusty dog to walk with, so having something to listen to can help pass the time while taking those hourlong walks. You might just learn something along the way as well! Though tastes in what to listen to may vary, there are countless podcasts on every possible topic. You’ll have plenty of topics and formats to choose from.
We’ve highlighted some popular informative or educational podcasts that are funny, engrossing and appeal to a wide audience. These are merely suggestions to introduce you to podcasts for walking. You can download as many podcasts as you have space on your phone, so feel free to search and find the topics or podcasts you like best.
TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design) are short presentations given by experts in the fields of science, technology, business, education and more. They cover everything from cutting edge research, to interesting scientific findings, to ideas that challenge commonly held beliefs. You’ll be sure to learn something interesting in these short, info-packed lectures.
Average Length: 10-20 minutes
Go beyond the talks with this collaboration between TED and NPR. Each Ted Radio Hour podcast is based on an actual TED talk, and features interviews and a longer-form discussion on the chosen topic. For those longer walks, TED Radio Hour is a great way to get in-depth on an interesting topic you might not have thought about before.
Average Length – 55 minutes
Stuff You Should Know (SYSK) mixes humor, history and science into an informative, funny listen that’s easy for anyone to follow. Each episode is a deep dive into a different topic. You might learn how barcodes work, or the history of the Wonders of the Ancient World, or whether birth order is really important in families. You don’t have to have any background on the topic at hand, and they’re delivered in a fun and funny way that makes what might seem a boring topic actually interesting. Learn something new on your walk to wow your friends or coworkers the next day.
Average Length – 45 minutes to an hour (for regular episodes), 15 minutes (for “Short Stuff” episodes)
This American Life picks a different theme every week that’s in some way related to aspects of American life. These are truly unique stories, told from the perspectives of interesting people throughout the country. Each episode could focus on experiences like summer camp or being a small town mayor, or it could focus on aspects of life in a particular city or town. This American Life is syndicated on over 500 radio stations across America and is listened to by over 2.2 million listeners each week.
Average Length – 1 hour
Billed as “the economy explained,” this podcast from NPR explains complicated financial and economic ideas in simple terms that everyone can understand. It makes topics like insider trading or the 2008 financial crisis actually fun and interesting to listen to. More obscure topics include how salmon went from being a “garbage fish” in Japan to a global delicacy and why the price of Coke stayed the same for 70 years. Impress your business-oriented friends with your newfound understanding of financial trivia they probably don’t even know about!
Average Length – 20 minutes
99% Invisible covers the design and architecture that is everywhere in our modern world, but probably never crossed your mind. Why do car dealerships all seem to have that inflatable man flapping around at the front gate? Why do waiting room tables all seem to look the same? What goes into the way a city sounds, or the unique urban architecture of major cities? Find out these answers and more!
Average Length – 15-30 minutes
The Tim Ferriss Show is a perennial contender for the top business podcast on iTunes. Bestselling author Time Ferriss interviews business and cultural icons on topics from starting a company to self-improvement. He’s been called “the human guinea pig” for trying a variety of unorthodox life strategies and seeing if he could master obscure skills for the fun of it. His style and advice aren’t for everyone, but he consistently interviews interesting and influential guests for life skills you can use.
Every week Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft discuss ideas to make your life happier. Who doesn’t want to feel happier and have better habits? The two discuss little things (and some big things) you can do that can add up to big changes in your life. We know that walking improves your mood, so why not find some other tips on things you can do to feel better!
This movie and entertainment podcast covers movies that are so bad, they’re good and wonders how did they get made? They watch bad movies for you, and talk about what they saw and just what conspired to make them such a disaster! If you have access to a movie streaming service, this is a fun podcast to watch along with and then listen to see if they agree with your take on bad movies!
*** Many episodes contain explicit language. *** If that doesn’t appeal to you, skip this one!
Average Length – 1-2 hours
Almost everyone of a certain age remembers “Reading Rainbow,” the amazing children’s reading show hosted by LeVar Burton (also known from Roots and Star Trek, the Next Generation among other things). Every week, LeVar reads an interesting short story in the way only he can. Relive the nostalgia of Reading Rainbow, or just take in an interesting short story read by one of the great voices out there. Don’t take our word for it – check it out for yourself!
Podcasts give you something to listen to while you’re on a long, solo walk. Use the search function for whatever app or service you use to download your podcasts to find more podcasts like these or on whatever topics you like best. It can be great to mix in some local, focused podcasts as well. Search for your favorite sports team, TV show, or hobby and you’ll find a great podcast to walk with! With a variety of podcasts on your phone, you’ll be able to walk for hours, enjoy yourself, and maybe learn something along the way.
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