The best forms of exercise are workouts you enjoy doing, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t difficult at times to tie up your tennis shoes, get to the gym, and get in a workout. Exercising is hard work, and there are days when you may need an extra boost to feel excited and ready to tackle your workout. That’s where brain food can come to the rescue! Brain food is the various forms of entertainment that you can include in your fitness routine to help keep your mind engaged while you’re lifting, running, or at the gym. Most people you see with headphones on at the gym are likely listening to one of three categories of entertainment: music, podcasts, or audiobooks. 


Music is a classic way to stay motivated and energized while working out. Many fitness classes feature music to pump you up, and it’s a form of entertainment and distraction that many fitness fans swear by. When working out with music, consider using playlists (or making your own) based on beats per minute (BPM). Having music that matches the intensity of your workout can help you maintain a steady pace and energy, and working out with a high-energy playlist can give you the push you need to lift that last rep or push through the extra half-mile. Add slower songs at the end of your workout playlist so you know when it’s time to start your cooldown

Music is a personal experience, so you’ll have to find what artists or playlists give you the best boost. If you’re looking for great tunes without the work of creating your own workout tracks, check out some of the most popular workout playlists on Spotify


It seems like everyone has a podcast these days. There are storytelling podcasts, podcasts for learning, podcasts for the news, and almost any other topic you can think of. Which makes podcasts a versatile way to give your brain a little juice during workouts. Save a handful of interesting shows on your podcast app and decide which sounds best once you’re ready to go. Podcasts are also an easy way to boost your fitness knowledge and training. There are many podcasts out there covering the world of fitness:

  • Trained, where Nike’s Senior Director of Performance (who has worked with big name sports stars including LeBron James) talks with other fitness experts. 
  • Hurdle, hosted by Emily Abbott, focuses on how fitness supports wellness while talking to a variety of guests.
  • Ben Greenfield Fitness, hosted by none other than Ben Greenfield, is a fitness deep dive that features a ton of big name health and fitness pros. 


Audiobooks have been rising in popularity over the last few years, which means that you have tons of options to keep you entertained while you’re working out. Books are a good option for people who tend to tune music out or who want a longer story than available in an hour-long podcast episode. With audiobooks, you can expect hours of content to enjoy while you workout. This is a particularly effective motivation method when you only let yourself listen to your audiobook while working out. Every cliffhanger will have you excited to tie up your tennis shoes and hit the pavement! 

For more fitness tips and at-home workouts, check out our other blogs!