Music is a powerful tool that can leave you laughing, weeping or teetering on the edge of love. It can also add a melodic boost to your aerobic workout. Never mind whatever happens to be on the radio or streaming through the speakers at the gym, you can create your own personalized workout lineup with the songs that make you smile and get you moving.
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Music adds a whole new dimension to what may have become an otherwise ho-hum workout. Rather than paying attention to the next routine step, kick or shuffle, you can let your body do its thing while your mind enjoys the music. If you’re enjoying something, like the music, you’ll also tend to stick with it longer, like the workout.
Go for songs that get you moving and grooving – but not ones that are so fast they leave you sprawled on the aerobics floor in a sweaty heap. A tempo between 120 and 140 beats per minute is about right, Love to Know: Exercise notes. The average dance club plays music that’s generally between 80 and 128 beats per minute, “Marie Claire” points out, and you’ll want one workout tune that’s a bit faster than your average dance.
Tips on Picking
If you can’t stand Bruce Springsteen, it doesn’t matter how many beats per minute his “Born to Run” has; you’re not going to enjoy it. Stick with music that fits the pace of your workout and is something you like. A world of websites offers suggestions from the top 1980s workout and dance tunes to the top country workout music, from the best aerobic disco beats to the best workout rock. Either buy the CD or purchase the CD collection of songs or individual tunes in MP3 format from online sources.
"Fitness" magazine collected some of the top workout songs, based on picks from both its editors and its readers. Editors' picks include “Rise Up” by Yves Larock and "Break the Ice" by Britney Spears. The top 100 workout songs voted by readers kicked off with "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake and "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera. "Fitness" even included a list of the top songs to boost your body confidence while working out, with slots going to Des’ree for “You Gotta Be” and “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi.