My post today likely appears a bit out of the blue compared to other recent posts – as in – it’s not about GMOs. But the truth is, I constantly sleuth for all things concerning health, if even for my own personal edification, growth or welfare, and occasionally run across something non-GMO related that I feel deserves a write up here in the blog. Today, I want to share something I am excited about.
For most of my adult life I have engaged in cardio exercises of various forms – cycling, running, walking. I’ve completed four marathons, a few multiple day cycling tours and for several years was a competitive racewalker. There is a box somewhere in my house full of plaques and medals but as of late, I’m not so ambitious. I have slowed way down and made the switch to regular walking and jogging. And my Cannondale road bike? Well, it dresses up the shed nicely.
One afternoon several months ago, my husband entered through our front door holding a gigantic cube of a box which held inside it an elliptical trainer. It was so out of character for him to do something like this, come home with this funny looking machine without telling me about it first. I was puzzled and entirely unconvinced of the device’s usefulness as he pulled the InMotion Stamina E-1000 from its styro-foam housing.
It was as simple an elliptical trainer as could be – no receptacle needed even. No weird arm levers. Just a small base straddled by two large foot pedals. The price – about a hundred bucks. I lost mt balance several times my first few tries but over time, I got the hang of it. Though I can vary my speeds widely, adjust the tension, and go forward or backwards on it, it’s one drawback is this: it’s B-O-R-I-N-G.
When I run or walk I’ve always enjoyed listening to music, especially trance and house electronic music. The driving kick drum stressed on every beat seems to grow springs in my shoes. It dawned on me, after a few months of being bored beyond belief on the elliptical, even while watching TV, that music would pep things up. Just a boom boom boom boom of the kick drum was all I needed to rev up my motor. But, alas, when I accessed my oft-used audio files or streamed Pandora’s workout station, it all just sounded stale. Anything with singing in it had to be skipped as it was too annoying (and being a singer myself, I don’t understand this). Something had to be done!
Then quite by accident, I discovered Podrunner.
What a find! It came about because I had a new smartphone and was looking for fresh workout music I could stream. After a bit of googling I was directed to Podrunner and there appeared a treasure trove of audio files, every manner of techno/electro/dance/house one might want for a high energy workout. Steve Boyett, the DJ behind Podrunner, creates hour-long mixes of loops, house, trance and worldbeats from a website called BeatPort. The result is fun and interesting workout music that is super easy to come by.
Now mind you, at this stage of life, and after a long career of playing pop, rock, country, blues and jazz in bars, I have pretty much become a stodgy classical music listener and don’t have much use for pop music anymore, but these digital diddies for workout purposes are an absolute must!
Every mix is labeled by beats per minute so you know exactly what you’re getting. Some of the music will “ramp” up to get you going faster over time and some changes tempo every few minutes to give you interval training opportunities. But the very best thing about Podrunner is that it is absolutely free. Boyett gives a little speech at the beginning of each mix but I just forward past that and off it goes into seamless, energy invoking electronic walls of sound.
No more obtaining audio files illegally (yes, I did that and I know I will burn in hell for it). No more guessing if it is the right tempo. You can download each and every Podrunner file as a podcast from itunes absolutely guilt free. The easiest way to access the podcasts is to type in “podrunner” in the itunes store search bar and you’ll get the full list of offerings.
My new phone is Android and I don’t yet have an app to make it convenient to transfer itunes podcasts to it so I use bluetooth, which takes way longer than I’d like but still, it’s pretty convenient. Now I have music if I step outside for a run or power walk, any tempo I want, but I also have an awesome array of rhythmically charged sound canvases to choose from when I get on that funky little elliptical machine. Boyett has also put out an app that will change tempo and skip his introductions but I think you have to have an iphone for that.
The trainer is on the second story of my house and the floor joists have been rockin’ and rollin’ since I discovered Podrunner. My arms are also free to create any and all dance moves or toning exercises while I bob up and down.
Exercising has seriously never been so fun! I can’t wait to get back on the trainer. My most sincere thanks go out to Steve Boyett! Also, I know this all sounds like a commercial but I swear it’s not. I really am this excited about Podrunner and I still can’t believe it’s free. He does ask for donations but of course, that is voluntary. I shall probably donate since I use it so much.
Being a musician myself, I have to say, the whole endeavor passes muster in terms of not all sounding the same, which electronica in general tends to do, yet having much variety while still maintaining that dance beat that makes workouts sail onward instead of lag.
Here’s to health and fun workouts!