50 Best Podcasts in Health and Fitness Plug in to our pick of the pods to upgrade your life with superior sonic self-help.
One in four of us now regularly tunes into podcasts: whatever your niche, passion or discipline, there’s an in-ear coach for you. But with thousands to choose from, it isn’t easy for the MH man to pick out the truly useful audio inspo. So, we’ve whittled
01-02 10% Happier with Dan Harris
The Emmy Award-winning Harris was a co-anchor on the American TV institution Good
Morning America – until he suffered a panic attack live on air, which prompted him to consider meditation. Converted, he wrote a book about it, also called 10%
Happier (and a follow-up, Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics). In these meetings of mindfulness devotees, guests muse upon happiness in its many forms and ask whether striving for success and enlightenment are mutually exclusive.
LIKE THAT? Try Happier with Gretchen Rubin, in which the US blogger, speaker and author of bestselling books Happier at Home and The Happiness
Project offers “practical, manageable” advice.
03-04 Jocko Podcast
Jocko Willink is a former commander of the most decorated special operations unit in the Iraq War, who went on to become the officer in charge of training all Navy Seals on the US west coast. In short, he is one of the toughest men you’ll ever listen to. Learn the fundamentals of training and leadership from the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt who wakes up at 4.30am to “get after it”.
LIKE THAT? Try the Unbeatable Mind Podcast with Mark Divine, presented by a retired Navy Seal commander who grills athletes and ex-military personnel for life strategies.
05-06 The Tim Ferriss Show
The author of New York Times bestsellers The 4-Hour Work Week, Body and Chef wrote the book(s) on speedy self-improvement. His podcast, in which he “deconstructs world-class performers”, regularly tops the itunes business chart, as well as Apple’s list of the best podcasts. His subjects range from start-ups to stand-ups, and from athletes to Arnie. The interviews can be long – but they’re always a productive use of your time. Try The James Altucher LIKE THAT? Show, hosted by the entrepreneur, author and chess master. His guests include skater Tony Hawk, former astronaut Mike Massimino and, er, Tim Ferriss.
07-08 The Dissect Podcast
Mark Twight founded the hard-line facility Gym Jones, which put Salt Lake City, Utah, on the workout map by moulding the 300 Spartans and Superman himself, Henry Cavill. With fellow alumni Michael Blevins, Paul Roberts and Ross Mcgarvey, who “prefer verbs over nouns, action over words and ends over means”, Twight has started a new facility, the Sect, and this podcast. You’ll get schooled on what they disparage as “fitnessing”, but also learn that real transformations are far more profound.
LIKE THAT? Try Starting Strength by old-school coach Mark Rippetoe, who supersets expert interviews with tutorials, “Ask Rip” Q&AS and discourses on modern masculinity.
09-10 The Joe Rogan Experience
A show presented by a stand-up comedian might seem a funny choice on a list of the best fitness podcasts, but Rogan also provides commentary for the UFC and is a former US tae kwon do champion. One of the world’s most popular podcasters, with more than 1,000 episodes under his black belt, the self-dubbed “psychedelic adventurer” is as likely to get into the weeds with his guests on topics such as sports science and mixed martial arts as to discuss legalising cannabis. LIKE THAT? Try WTF with Marc Maron, another comedian and podcast OG (even Barack Obama graced his garage back in 2015), who is a black belt in beating himself up.
11-12 The Rich Roll Podcast
A former entertainment attorney, athlete and author, Roll had a healthy midlife crisis on the eve of his 40th birthday after struggling up a flight of stairs. Ditching animal products along with alcohol, drugs and more than 20kg of weight, within two years he ranked among the top 10 male finishers at the Ultraman, a three-day, 515 km multi-sport race. He is now considered one of the fittest men in the world. His wellness conversations with diverse luminaries will make your cardio go faster.
LIKE THAT? Radio to tune into non-preachy vegan ultrarunner Matt Frazier, whether you want to run entirely on plants or just a slightly greener fuel.
13-14 Health Hacker with Adam Macdougall
NRL legend and founder of The Man Shake, Adam Macdougall has a steel-trap mind geared to achieving optimum results with maximum efficiency. Listen and learn to streamline all aspects of your life. Try The School of Greatness with LIKE THAT?
Lewis Howes, a NFL player who suffered a career-ending wrist injury then built a multimillion-dollar online business and made it onto Team USA’S handball squad. He now interviews high achievers to find out “what makes great people great”.
15-18 Whistle blowhards
Dedicated sports podcasts are sonic crack for diehard fans. Here’s four of the best
Junktime AFL Podcast
Michael Chamberlain and Adam Rozenbach’s humourous look at the AFL delivers jokes at about the rate Tom Mitchell racks up centre clearances – not that they’re big on statistical analysis.
The Guardian Football Weekly
Now in it’s 13th year this Uk-based pod institution offers a Eurocentric view of the beautiful game. Sharp Brit journos might discuss their breakfast one minute . . . the merits of using a false nine at Celta Vigo the next!
The Back Three
Tom Moldoveanu, Kevin Braysher and Denny Griggs run the rule over the week in Rugby League. A focus on in-game nitty gritty rather than big- picture bombast make this one for the purist rather than the casual listener.
The Ringer NBA Show
Memphis Grizzlies’ broadcaster Chris Vernon and basketball writer Kevin O’connor’s good-natured, often heated sparring on all things NBA is fast making them one of the hoop world’s great double acts.
19-20 The Hilarious World of Depression
Listening to people talk about depression might not sound like a laugh-a-minute experience, but when the people in question are comedians and other wits who periodically feel low despite being at the top of their game, the chortle rate is unexpectedly high. “Depression is everywhere, and it sucks,” says American public radio presenter John Moe. “But talking about it doesn’t. Talking about it is a really good idea.” Try The Osher Günsberg LIKE THAT?
Podcast in which the TV presenter and MH cover guy lays his mental demons on the table as he and well-known guests shed their public personas to reveal the pivotal, often emotionally raw experiences that shaped them.
20-21 GMB Fitness Show
Devised by martial arts, gymnastics and physical therapy experts, this is a gold-standard bodyweight training program for developing your skills and flexibility. Co-founder Ryan Hurst enlists the help of fitness cognoscenti such as Animal Flow creator Mike Fitch and Al Kavadlo of Progressive Calisthenics.
LIKE THAT? Try The Freestyle Way by Carl Paoli, a national gymnast-turned-crossfit trainer and the founder of Gymnastics WOD.
22-23 Finding Mastery
When Felix Baumgartner panicked as he prepared to leap from a hot-air balloon on the edge of space, it was psychologist Michael Gervais who talked him off the ledge. Join him as he explores the “common thread” connecting the world’s greatest performers as they “pursue the boundaries of human potential”.
LIKE THAT? Try Mindset RX’D, a WOD for your mind from Tom Foxley, a PT and Royal Marines reservist despite having a heart condition.
24-25 Ted Talks: Health
Sadly not a series of wellness monologues from Seth Macfarlane’s foul-mouthed bear, but rather lectures by a global community of thought leaders. Ted Talks cover anything and everything, including health. Think of them as lectures from some of the smartest people on the planet – fascinating and free.
LIKE THAT? Try Ted Radio Hour, in which several speakers convene around the mic and share their insights on a topic, from the struggle to find meaningful work to the fountain of youth.
27-28 Eat, Move and Live Better
As well as serving up online diet programmes, Precision Nutrition advises companies such as Nike. Fittingly, the emphasis here is on food. There’s plenty of nutritional facts to get your teeth into and, because they’re bite-sized, you can binge on several in a sitting.
LIKE THAT? Try Sigma Nutrition Radio: science prepared by nutritionist Danny Lennon, with a sprinkling of coaches, athletes and researchers.
29-30 Waking Up with Sam Harris
If anyone can help you make sense of our incomprehensible world, it’s neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of bestsellers such as Free Will. His podcast ranges from evolutionary psychology and politics to the meaning of life. Prepare for your mind to be truly blown.
LIKE THAT? Try the award-winning On Being with Krista Tippett, in which the journalist and former diplomat ruminates on existence with guests such as Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg.
31-32 30 for 30 Podcasts
When it comes to spine-tingling sports documentaries, American network ESPN is the greatest of all time. And it turns out they work just as effectively without the visuals. A delightfully in-depth refuge from the shallow sports news cycle of previews and predictions, results and reactions, here you can discover everything from the origins of the UFC, to the genesis of the Madden video game franchise. Try The Bill Simmons LIKE THAT?
Podcast, the most downloaded sports podcast ever, by the journalist and author who kicked off 30 for 30 before founding his own outlet, The Ringer.
33-37 Trivial Pursuits
The podcasts that will make you the toast of dinner parties and the Rambo of pub ammo
No Such Thing As A Fish
After learning that 600 men have two penises, the QI “elves” – the writers of the BBC panel show – set this up to share their latest and greatest “quite interesting” discoveries.
Stuff You Should Know
Writers from howstuffworks.com explain, among other things, the mechanisms behind tsunamis, bullfighting and condoms. At the very least, you should know how the last of these work.
If you haven’t seen this on lists of best podcasts, you haven’t been looking. Host Roman Mars gives visibility to the design and architecture of the world around you, from bar codes to Freud’s couch and New York’s cow tunnels (really).
Celebrated author Malcolm Gladwell uses his counterintuitive brain to reconsider misunderstood episodes from the past, such as basketballer Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game.
38-39 Fight Disciples
Collecting awards like Anthony Joshua does belts, radio presenter Adam Catterall and boxing writer Nick Peet don’t restrict themselves to the Queensberry rules, taking on all comers across boxing and UFC, including combatants, coaches and correspondents. It’s the undisputed best brawling podcast.
LIKE THAT? Try Fight Night, also hosted by Catterall (and occasionally Peet) and part of Talksport’s stable, giving it a reach that lets it connect with real heavyweights.
40-41 Hidden Brain
The multi-award-winning journalist and Harvard fellow Shankar Vedantam – who is also a former science writer at the Washington Post – combines science and storytelling “to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behaviour”, from the surprisingly long history of fake news to the more baffling question of why we lie.
LIKE THAT? Try Invisibilia, which holds that “unseeable forces” control how we behave – what, for example, makes a brain surgery patient’s hand start stubbing out cigarettes of its own accord?
It’s an inconvenient truth that one of the best cycling podcasts is hosted by Lance Armstrong, who was shorn of his seven Tour de France titles following the revelation of his serial doping. Yes, Themove is doubtless an attempt to rehabilitate his reputation (and the same goes for The Forward, his terrific series of interviews with athletes, film-makers and authors). But whatever you think of him, Armstrong knows a lot about riding bikes.
LIKE THAT? Try The Cycling Podcast, hosted by three peloton-leading journalists, which finished joint third in the Sport category at the 2018 British Podcast Awards.
44-45 The Primal Blueprint Podcast
Cavemen didn’t podcast – but don’t dismiss this show approved by endurance athleteturned-paleo author Mark Sissons. Guests include mobility guru Kelly Starrett and surfer Laird Hamilton. Not just for “ancestral health” evangelists, it’ll help anyone who wants to eat and move more naturally. Try The Paleo LIKE THAT?
Solution Podcast by powerlifter, martial artist and ex-biochemist Robb Wolf, who co-founded the very first Crossfit affiliate.
46-50 Finish the Job
Improve your odds of getting through your listening list with these high-powered productivity podcasts
How I Built This
Guy Raz, host of the Ted Radio Hour, quizzes the upper echelons of the business world – such as James Dyson and Richard Branson – about their empires. Sitting on a great idea? This show will get you moving.
The Accidental Creative
Whether you create for a living, manage artistic temperaments or use the term as a euphemism for “prone to procrastination”, Todd Henry – the “arms dealer for the creative revolution” – will inspire you.
Getting Things Done
Hailed as “the defining self-help business book of its time” by Time, David Allen’s Getting Things Done has even become an initialism: GTD. This podcast version supports your practice with essential advice.
Harvard Business Review is a hotbed of innovation, and its podcast – unlike much of its content – is free. Featuring “the leading thinkers in business and management”, many episodes come in at under 20 minutes – a sound investment.
Eat Sleep Work Repeat
The side hustle of Twitter’s Bruce Daisley, this business podcast looks at productivity through the lens of workplace culture and happiness.
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