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These six podcasts will help you put your health and wellness first in an effective way this summer. (Illustration by Amelia Fins, Montclair State University)
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Real health information is more accessible than ever.

The warm weather and extended free time that summer brings is the perfect opportunity to use the outdoors and lazy mornings to establish an enjoyable fitness routine. Fitness can be as complicated as keto, or as simple as fresh produce and sunset beach runs. Yet, the relatively simple act of taking care of oneself has been overcomplicated by the trillion dollar health and wellness industry. The best way to take care of your health is to simplify your health, and this roundup of six podcasts — as well as a standout episode for each — is a free way to gain a plethora of information on how to do just that.

1. “Lemon Water” with Bianca Valle

Stores like Pressed Juicery and Jamba Juice sell various detox concoctions for sometimes over $10 a piece. But “Lemon Water,” founded by Michelle Simon, focuses on the idea that health can start with something as simple and cheap as a morning glass of water with some lemon squeezed in. The podcast focuses not on overpriced products, but on a lifestyle that revolves around eating whole foods, plenty of vegetables and getting outside. The episode with Bianca Valle is particularly inspiring, as Bianca is a certified holistic nutritionist and wellness blogger with an emphasis on making health accessible for all, and even operates a free nutrition hotline every week. The podcast also curates a moodboard-esque Instagram with plenty of inspiration for a simplified healthy summer.

2. “TEDTalks Health” – “What Your Breath Could Reveal About Your Health”

For a more scientific take on health and wellness, “Ted Talks Health” covers everything from the future of dementia treatment, to the factors behind the opioid crisis — even topics as simple as your breath. This eye-opening episode interviews Julian Burshka about how screening for organic compounds in exhaled breath could prevent disease before it takes root. For most teens, health is more about disease prevention rather than disease care, and learning about preventative science and measures at a young age is key to a healthy life.

3. “Teenager Therapy” – “Instagram & Unrealistic Body Standards”

It’s no secret that, as much as social media can be used to create strong communities and spread valuable messages, it also can be detrimental to mental health. This episode interviews five real teenagers as they talk about mental health in relation to social media. They discuss how constant sharing, along with apps like Facetune and other ways social media allows people to metaphorically airbrush their lives, can lead to a negative cycle of comparison and insecurity. Other noteworthy episodes on this refreshingly real podcast include one about cancel culture and the courage to be disliked. What makes this podcast particularly interesting is it reads like a coffee shop chat between five friends candidly sharing advice.

4. “TRAINED” – “How Adversity Can Make You Better”

There are few things more inspirational when it comes to getting fit than talking to real athletes about their real experiences dedicating themselves to being as strong as possible. This is exactly what the “TRAINED” podcast does and, in previous episodes, they have sat down with athletes such as Melissa Hartwig, co-creator of Whole30, Allyson Felix, Olympic gold medal sprinter and Julie Ertz, U.S. women’s national team midfielder.

In this episode, Julie covers her training and diet techniques and touches on how she stays disciplined but, most notably, she talks about how doubt from others has lead her to stay even more inspired and push even harder. The U.S. women’s soccer team has notoriously not been given the same press and attention as the male team, but Julie Ertz refuses to let sexism and other roadblocks stop her from being the incredible athlete that she is.

5. “The BodyLove Project Podcast” with Simi Botic

The most important way to take care of your body in the summer is to love your body, and “The BodyLove Project Podcast,” hosted by registered dietitian nutritionist Jessi Haggerty, is a treasure chest of information on how to do just that. Perfectionism when it comes to food and your body can be one of the most detrimental factors in achieving a strong relationship with your health, mind and body. Simi Botic, a nutrition and lifestyle coach, talks about her own story with grief and perfectionism and how she overcame these barriers in one very worthwhile episode.

6. “Hurdle” – “#HURDLEMOMENT: 6 Habits of Happy People”

The podcast “Hurdle,” founded by Emily Abbat, aims to shift the conversation around fitness as a way to change your body and to talk about it as an outlet to use during difficult times. This podcast interviews a range of inspirational people whose lives have been changed by the role of fitness. The episode “The 6 Habits of Happy People” is only nine minutes long, but touches on ways you can change your mindset through changing your habits. The interview episodes are significantly longer (most nearing an hour), but hearing successful people’s transformations through making themselves a priority in their own lives is definitely worth an hour of your time.

The best way to change your life and health is to take action, but pricey online transformation programs and boutique fitness classes can make this difficult. Podcasts are an ever-growing form of content, and the information found here is usually succinct, informative and free. These six podcasts are all ones that skip the fluff and the advertising in order to offer listeners real and realistic information on how to become their healthiest self, and there is no better time to start this process than this summer.

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