Some might say that a workout is only as good as the music that accompanies it. With the invention of devices like MP3 players and iPods in the last 15 years, we now have the ability to create endless playlists to fit our workout style, type, and mood. Designing workout playlists is a fun and creative activity that allows you to vary your exercise routines and experiment with different genres, from the most recent pop tunes to mega hits. With the focus primarily on upbeat tempos and catchy lyrics, you will soon get caught up in the rhythms and forget about the beads of sweat on your forehead. Current research has shown that listening to music while exercising can positively affect endurance levels by as much as 15%. Here are some ideas for designing the best playlist for you:
Be selective. Not all workout playlists are or should be created equally. You have to know your training objective before you make and choose the right music list. For high-cadence exercises, such as running, stair climbing and indoor cycling, consider songs with 120-140 beats per minute. Some songs that would be appropriate would include “Livin’ la vida loca,” “Maniac,” and “Hey ya.” For moderately paced workouts, such as walking, rowing, or hiking, songs like “Beautiful day,” “She wolf,” or the theme from Rocky will help you keep and challenge your stride. For more stationary workouts, such as yoga or Pilates, consider new age music or sounds of nature. At the end of a routine, remember to incorporate a cool-down period. The end of your workout playlist could include a ballad to match your decreased heart rate. Good stretching tunes are “Girl from Ipanema,” “What a wonderful world,” and “Dueña de tu amor.”
Include music you love! Your workout playlists should be, to a large extent, a reflection of you and your tastes. If a song you adore makes you sing in the car, dance in the shower, or even tap your foot on the train, imagine the effect it will have on you during exercise. Choose music that gives you an overall good feeling inside to motivate you on the outside.
Mix it up! The beauty of the playlist, unlike its predecessors (burned compact discs and tapes), is that it is easy to compile and modify. With the flick of a computer switch and the press of a few buttons, you can create new workout playlists in minutes. Remember to name them accordingly so that your library is easily accessible and ready at a moment’s notice. If you need inspiration, ask a friend to share with you or search the Internet for ideas. Celebrities, for example, often publish their playlists as a way to connect with fans. Numerous, untapped resources are literally at your fingertips!
With a bit of preparation, the right workout playlists can totally transform your training time from a chore into an enjoyable activity.