Best Fitness Podcasts for Parents

Listen, learn, and laugh during a workout.

Podcasts are a perfect resource for parents. They're free. They cover a million different topics. You can subscribe to them right on your computer or phone—set it and forget it! And they're ideal for multitasking. Pop in some headphones and listen while you exercise, do chores around the house, ride the bus or train to work, or even drive (play through your car's stereo system). Listed below are the parenting, nutrition, health and fitness podcasts that are best in my book. Let me know your favorites on Facebook or Twitter and I'll add them.

Best Fitness Podcasts: Marathon Training Academy and More

Woman running outside with jogging stroller
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If you're a runner or a wanna-be runner, check out Marathon Training Academy, a friendly, informative biweekly podcast. Both the podcast and accompanying website have tons of resources and information for beginning and experienced marathoners. From the podcast's own description: "Listen as coach Angie Spencer shares her knowledge and experience as both a marathoner and registered nurse to help you run smarter, feel better, and go the distance."

Another smart option for runners is Another Mother Runner Radio. Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, coauthors of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity, share training tips, race reports, and gear reviews on their weekly running and fitness podcast.

If you like yoga, you can find dozens of streaming yoga classes on iTunes and other podcast providers (like Stitcher). Experiment until you find the one you like best. You can also find lots of streaming music designed for workouts, such as through the Podrunner podcast and app.

Best Health Podcasts: The Checkup and More

Female doctor with teen boy patient in examining room
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Many of my favorite podcasts are produced by public radio stations. For health news and information, I like The Checkup from WBUR in Boston, in partnership with Slate. It comes out every other week and covers everything from how to lose your "muffin top" to adolescent brain development, patient advocacy, anxiety, and more. The Checkup calls itself "solidly reported and also somewhat opinionated."

In a similar vein, check out TEDTalks Health, a collection of TED presentations that examine "way-new medical breakthroughs" (like a gel that can stop bleeding instantly) as well as "smart daily health habits" (how vision affects your exercise motivation).

If you're looking for a podcast on mental health and inspiration, there's Happier with Gretchen Rubin. The author teams up with her sister, a TV writer, to discuss topics related to organization, habits, motivation, and of course, happiness.

Best Parenting Podcasts: Parenting Roundabout and More

Mother and young child on playground slide
images by Tang Ming Tung / Getty Images

Every week, I join Terri Mauro, About's expert on parenting children with special needs, and two more lively colleagues for Parenting Roundabout, a freewheeling discussion on what parents are talking about, complaining about, and obsessing about right now. And in addition to the group chat, we record extra mini podcasts every week so we can chat about pop culture, grandparenting, toys and activities for kids, and lots more. For a quick overview of some of our best quips and tips, see our Pinterest board.

For another irreverent take on parenting topics, listen to Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of Cool Mom Picks on their (new in 2015) weekly podcast, Spawned. They promise "parenting culture discussions, non-judgy (mostly) tips, and humor."

Another thoughtful look at parenting is The Longest Shortest Time podcast, created by novelist and public radio contributor Hillary Frank. It doesn't shy away from tough topics including sex, race, and ethnicity.

Best Food Podcasts: America's Test Kitchen Radio and More

Grocery basket with fruits and vegetables
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The America's Test Kitchen empire includes the test kitchen itself, a magazine, a TV show, a radio show, a website, and of course a podcast. Which is great, because you can take advantage of their 30+ cooks and product testers to let you know how to get your recipes to come out just right and what kitchen equipment is worth buying.

The Sporkful's motto is: "It's not for foodies, it's for eaters." If that's you, check out Dan Pashman's weekly exploration of "the huge, fun world of food." If you've ever wondered why vanilla is the default flavor of ice cream, or debated the best way to roll a burrito, you'll enjoy The Sporkful.

For nutrition advice tailored to parents, check out The Happy Bite from bloggers Sally Kuzemchak and Dina Rose. Sally is a registered dietitian and Dina is a sociologist and feeding expert. Every month they share their take on kids-and-food topics like dealing with Easter candy, what kids should drink in the summertime, and (my daily struggle!) figuring out the family dinner.

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