Music is a huge part of our daily routine and is something that we rely on in the car, at work, in the shower, and simply relaxing. You may have your favorite CD in the car, your favorite FM radio station, or perhaps a favorite artist that gets you through your week. Therefore, it is only natural to want to include music in your workout routine to get you in the zone and burning those calories. Here are some tips to make sure your music playlist is beneficial to your workout.
Pick the correct genre
According to a University of Kansas study in 1981, the use of sedative music during a workout causes a decrease in strength. If classical music gets you moving, then go for it. For most of us, that is not going to be the boost we are looking for. Try adding some Latin music, hip hop, rock, alternative, or pop to your workout routine. Usually these types of genre are fast paced, have nice rhythm, and ultimately make you want to move. In the end, we want the music pushing us faster while distracting us from the work at hand. You want to immerse yourself in the music and use it to get you sweating.
Check the beats per minute
According to WebMD, you should find a tempo that fits you personally. A tempo of 120 to 140 beats per minute has been found to be most beneficial during a workout. When creating your playlist keep this in mind and remove any songs that are well below or above this range. Once you find a list that fits the tempo range, ensure the music is something you enjoy and that it adds some excitement to the workout. There are many free apps available for your smart phone that will provide the tempo for you.
Keep the volume at a comfortable level
Ensure you keep your music at a safe volume. Although you may want to crank it up to the max, the long-term effects can be quite damaging to your hearing. Turn the music up until you drown out any background noise and then make slight changes to your personal preference.
Choose music based on feelings and emotion
Face it, every artist provides different feelings, thoughts, and motivation to every individual. What may be the perfect workout song or playlist for one person can completely fail for another. Create a playlist that is a blend of songs that produce feelings of strength, power, motivation, willpower, and that put you in the right frame of mind. If you love a particular song but it produces feelings of sadness and sorrow and brings back memories of an ex, you probably want to exclude it from your list.
Search playlists on YouTube
YouTube is a valuable resource to search for music to add to your playlist. Spend a couple hours one evening searching for workout songs and playlists in specific genres and create a list of songs that you enjoy or feel will get you pumped and moving. After creating the list, check the tempo range, remove any outside the range, and then create your workout playlist on your phone or mp3 player. Save your favorite playlists so you can go back in the future and edit your list to create some new variety.
“Lets Get Physical: The Psychology of Effective Workout Music”, – Scientific American