Podcasts that help put you in better shape

NEW YORK • Now that it is a month into the new year, it is statistically likely that whatever health resolutions you set for 2020 have already lost their shine.

Luckily for those in need of some straightforward training tips and expert motivation to help get back on track, plenty of coaches and nutritionists are available in audio form.

Other shows explore health through individual stories of survival, endurance and transformation, or through candid interviews in which guests reflect on their psychological struggles.

Here are five podcasts to get you in better physical and emotional shape.


Every fitness guru needs an origin story – often one of emotional transformation through exercise – and Emily Abbate, the Hurdle host – is no exception.

Now a health writer and coach, she was “dramatically overweight” as a college student and redirected her life after discovering running.

In her addictive twice-weekly podcast, she shares fitness tips from her own life and interviews people who have overcome hurdles through healthy living.

Though many guests are from the fitness world, including trainer Jillian Michaels and football player Alex Morgan, others are simply successful people for whom fitness is an essential tool, and their stories offer plenty of useful lessons.

Starter episode: How To Start (And Stay) Running


Though mental health is still too often neglected in the cultural conversation around “wellness”, that is slowly changing as stigma around the subject recedes.

Comedian Paul Gilmartin has been chipping away at the taboo for years with this weekly “hour of honesty about all the battles in our heads”, a show that makes you feel as if you are part of a very articulate support group.

He leads sprawling, intimate conversations with guests primarily in the creative arts, who share raw admissions about their deepest fears, compulsive behaviours and traumatic histories.

Though the show can be heavy listening, it is also laced with irreverent humour and hope.

Starter episode: Best Of: Rob Delaney (2011)


The Quick And Dirty Tips podcast network offers a variety of bite-size service shows with advice on topics like grammar, parenting and productivity.

Nutritionist Monica Reinagel, known as the Nutrition Diva, takes a “sane, scientific” approach to dietary advice that cuts through the onslaught of often-conflicting information and offers deceptively simple lessons – all in the time of a short commute.

Whether you are trying to pick a non-dairy milk alternative or curious about intermittent fasting, she will likely have an episode on the subject, and her level-headed delivery will leave you feeling calmer as well as better informed.

Starter episode: 10 Nutrition Worries You Can Stop Stressing About


Intuitive eating – a philosophy that rejects dieting in favour of listening to your body’s internal cues – has gone mainstream recently along with the “Health At Every Size” paradigm.

Dietitian Christy Harrison’s show is one of the best resources if you are intrigued by this size-inclusive movement.

The show promotes a break from traditional diet culture and features interviews with guests who discuss how they are unlearning years of restrictive, unhealthy behaviours.

Her approach is unapologetically radical, dismantling the ways in which diet culture is a “life thief” and how wellness can provide a smoke screen for disordered eating. Listen and feel your perspective shift.

Starter episode: Intuitive Eating & Health At Every Size FAQs


Though not primarily focused on fitness, Outside Podcast tells compelling human stories set in the great outdoors, and its most gripping episodes position themselves at the intersection of physical endurance and psychological upheaval.

In one, host Peter Frick-Wright recounts in visceral detail his experience of breaking a leg in the middle of a treacherous and remote canyon hike. In another, an unfortunate hiker becomes a case study of the strange and devastating neurological effects caused by being struck by lightning.

Starter episode: Struck By Lightning