A nutritionist once said, “Starting a workout routine takes willpower, if you make it a habit, you will continue it.” Several years ago I got the willpower and started exercising about five days a week for at least 45 minutes at a time. Over the years since I haven’t been eating as well as I did initially so my weight isn’t as great as it was then, but I have not allowed myself to lose the habit of exercise. Staying active helps me be a better mom and wife and keeps me happy with myself because I choose to do something that can help my mind and body often. Music has been a huge key to my workouts and achieving the best calorie burn is always associated with some of my favorite tunes.
Varied Playlists Can Help Your Workout
Credit: Big Stock PhotoIf you are one of the many people who enjoys going to the gym and hopping on an exercise machine, or even just walking or jogging outdoors, making sure your playlist has a variety of music can help keep you interested and motivated. Not only does it help you to stay involved in your workout when the genre of music changes, but paying attention to the beats per minute (BPM) of the song can help mix up the intensity of your work out. By using higher and lower BPM songs and matching your steps to the music, you can guarantee that you are getting a workout with varied intervals. Interval training is just one of many ways that you can help make your workout more effective, meaning you’ll get better results in the same amount of time. Lots of artists will cover a variety of BPM in their music all on the same album, so explore with your favorites and you’ll notice when a song is faster and you need to breathe harder to keep up with the beat. If you want to be high-tech about the BPM your favorite songs have, there is an app for that, too.
Pop and Rock
Personally, I enjoy what I refer to as the “annoying teeny bopper music” when I work out. I find that the most commonly played songs on the radio may not have proper lyrics for my children, or ones I even enjoy, but the pounding beats keep me going. Because I feel this kind of music is like a guilty pleasure, I will reward myself with a new download on my MP3 player or CD from the store if I have had a good workout week. By rewarding myself this way, I get more music to burn calories to and get a reward all in one so it is a great solution. Some CDs that have been especially good at getting me involved and burning significant calories is Lady Gaga’s The Fame Monster, Maroon 5’s Hands All Over and even distractingly poppy offerings from the likes of Ke$ha and the Pussycat Dolls. While these may seem like a distracting bunch to you, the key is finding what you like that has intense enough beats to keep you moving with purpose.
Toss in a Little Rap
For me, tossing in a little popular rap or R&B helps me get more into a workout zone. Well placed rap tracks like some from Eminem or Jay-Z rile me up to an extent, which then pays off for the next few tracks because I have to come down from the place those tracks took me to. If you are not a fan of traditional rap music, select the tracks that have female vocal patterns to add a softness that makes the song more appealing. A good example of this is the song Stan by Eminem, where a hit from Dido is sampled and flows through the background of much of the song. This way the power of the rap is present and balanced with the softness of the female voice. Another similar track from Jay-Z is Empire State of Mind where he collaborates with Alicia Keys.
Make It Your Own
Preference is key when it comes to your workout playlist. If you are a country fan, then the music I listen to will not work to keep you motivated and having fun. Give yourself an hour one evening to sit down and evaluate the music you have available and choose your favorites that you know will keep you upbeat and having fun. This way you might actually look forward to your workout, or at least dread it less than you did before. Make sure that you still take the time to vary your playlist though. By choosing music with varying levels of BPM you will get a workout with peaks and valleys of energy use. Those peaks and valleys are what confuses your body to get the most out of the time you are spending on the machines at the gym.