I have a new addiction. No, not Animal Crossing: City Folk, which sadly has become a staple in my day, even if only for 30 minutes - got to do it! Oh wait, does that qualify as an addiction? Hmmm... maybe so. But I digress...
No, my new addiction is listening to podcasts, the new radio. I guess this has happened due to the fact that I have two iPods and for some reason one day two years or so ago I decided to download a podcast to see what the quality of production and content was. Plus at the time I was desperate for something to take my mind off of the training I was doing and figured listening to people talk would be a good distraction. I was right! The bonus is that podcasts are 100% free, and aside from audio shows there are now a plethera of video podcasts to choose from.
Think about it - any content you want in darn near any format (small screen - iPod, large screen - Monitor, or audio) for free - on demand. All you need is a podcast streaming website (iTunes is a good one, but there are quite a few non-iPod specific that have everything you can find on iTunes and then some) and an mp3 player and you are good to go!
I never stopped after listening to my first, and now have everything from Spanish lessons to Oprah's Health and Fitness Channel to listen to at work or while out on a run or at the gym.
A quick look at the iTunes store and you will see what I am talking about.
I have found that NPR has placed a lot of the shows I enjoy (A Prarie Home Companion, CarTalk, Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!, Fresh Air, and my personal favorite - Radio Lab) up on iTunes so you can listen to them again and again.
Side note - seriously check out the Radio Lab podcasts - you can listen to them off of the NPR website if you do not have iTunes, and the content is amazing! So varied and very VERY well produced.
I also have found interest specific podcasts - Coffe Break Spanish lessons, Nutrition Diva (ranges from 5-7 minutes per episode, and each one focuses on a myth or a common belief on differentnutritional topics such as water intake, metabolism, fiber, soy products, etc.) Oprah and Friends XM radio show (don't laugh - I do not like Oprah however the people she has on often have some great advise - think Suze Orman, Dr. Oz., Bob Greene, etc.), Oprah's Health and Fitness Channel (she has a wonderful Best Life week going on right now all discussing weight and health, good stuff to know - and again I listen for the guest speaker, not her inputs!) , Phedippidations running podcast (gets really interesting when he discusses running injuries and training issues, Steve really does his homework!), and PodRunner - a weekly podcast of 1 hour non-stop heart pumping electronic music that will get any cardio workout going.
I have about 10 days worth of podcasts on my iTunes right now.
So if you are bored outta your mind this winter, why not try a new podcast to help move things along?
Try a meditation podcast to help get to sleep or relax, or just to carve out 10 minutes in the day for you. You do not need to dedicate hours of your day to listening, even the 5 minute episodes can have a positive impact in the new year. :)
Try out many, and see how listening in can fit into your day!