One of the true keys to aging gracefully is to never stop learning. A variety of activities can keep your mind active and engaged: reading books and magazines, playing games, cultivating a new hobby, having thoughtful discussions with friends.
Listening to podcasts is another great way to challenge your brain and learn new things, especially when you’re on the move. Read on to discover where to find podcasts and how to listen with hearing aids, plus seven of our favorite series for learning on the go.
A podcast is basically a radio show with fewer (or no) commercials that you can listen to on a mobile device or computer whenever you choose. Podcasts are produced by individuals, companies, radio and TV networks—essentially anyone with a story to tell, subject to explore or information to share. There are hundreds of thousands of them out there (more than 660,000!), so it’s easy to find shows that match your passions and interests.
Podcasts are a convenient form of education and entertainment because you can enjoy them anywhere, at any time (some are even designed to help you sleep). Tune in on your way to work, while you’re washing dishes, on the treadmill, or gather friends and listen together.
You can find and listen to podcasts on many websites and apps. Most podcasts can be enjoyed for free. Popular audio apps such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and RadioPublic are easy to use and let you browse hundreds of shows. Users can stream episodes via the app or download them onto a mobile device or computer for offline listening.
Are you a big fan of historical fiction? Enjoy keeping up with world news? Many audio apps, including those mentioned above, let you browse podcasts by genre and store your favorites. They can also keep track of podcasts you’ve listened to and recommend new ones that match your listening preferences. Additionally, you can subscribe to shows and get notified when a new episode is released.
Podcast websites usually house episodes, too. That’s also a great place to find more background information on the show, along with complementary content and audio transcripts.
Listening to podcasts with your hearing aids is pretty simple. The most convenient way is to stream the audio directly from a mobile device to your hearing aids.
If you have Bluetooth hearing aids equipped for direct streaming, you’ll pair your hearing aids to the Bluetooth-enabled device that holds your podcasts, like your smartphone. Once the devices are connected, you can stream sound directly to your hearing aids—no intermediary device needed. You don’t even need to push any buttons—as soon as the audio starts playing, your hearing aids will automatically switch to your streaming settings.
Miracle-Ear hearing aids have a free hearing aid app available for download via Apple’s iTunes store or Google Play. The Miracle-Ear app works like a remote control for your hearing aids, allowing you to easily and discreetly adjust sound balance, volume and other settings as you listen. Learn how to pair the app to your hearing aids.
Hearing aids that aren’t programmed for direct streaming require an intermediary streaming accessory.
Whether you’re new to podcasts or a longtime listener, explore this list of some of the most entertaining and informative podcasts around. Happy listening!
This award-winning podcast and video series comes from HowStuffWorks and is hosted by two of the website’s writers. Each episode takes a look at an object or idea and how it “works”—from champagne to sign language, the government, igloos and more than one thousand other topics. Some episodes are quick, 15-minute segments while others are hour-long and go more in-depth. The show releases new episodes several times per week.