Music is a workout staple to keep you pumped and motivated. Your music should go with your routine; calming music, for example, is great for a yoga class. But upbeat tunes with a faster beat are the best bet to get you in the right frame of mind for higher-intensity workouts. Choose the right music and it could improve the duration and consistency of your workouts.
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How Music Affects Your Workout
A summer 2011 article by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences in "The Sport and Exercise Scientist" reviewed research on the effects of music on exercise. A number of factors can cause you to work harder when exercising with music, including that music creates arousal, prompts emotion and has other stimulating effects. In addition, music can aid your capacity to handle a hard workout and make you feel less tired than if you don't listen to music. This effect is boosted when you sync your exercise movements to the beat of the music.
Pick Your Personal Favorites
The 2011 article notes that your personality, your gender, whether you are introverted or extroverted, your age, your socio-cultural group and other factors all play a role in the type of music that will affect you. You need to connect to music personally, so the type of music that enhances a workout can differ from one person to the next.
Choose Upbeat Music
To boost an aerobic workout, especially a high-intensity one, choose a song with a tempo between 125 to 140 beats per minute, which is close to most people's exercise heart rate. Dr. Costas Karageorghis, an associate professor of sport psychology, explained in a 2008 "The New York Times" article that most well-known songs in the dance music category reach the range that can help you in a workout. Songs with inspiring lyrics can also provide motivation. To determine the beats per minute of a song, you can use websites like songbpm.com, pre-created BPM playlists, like on jog.fm, or BPM apps, like BPM for iTunes.
Try These Tunes
If you need workout-song suggestions, Karageorghis recommended Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" or Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot." A workout-music compilation by American Council on Exercise professionals includes popular hits like Abba's "Dancing Queen," L.L. Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," Technotronic's "Pump Up the Jam," C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now), Pink's "Get the Party Started" and Black Eyed Peas' "Boom Boom Pow."