Even though I like to think that I love working out, I have to admit just the thought of exercising is pretty unappealing. I rarely look forward to taking time out of my day to become intentionally sweaty (and likely smelly); I drag my feet to the yoga studio and trudge up the gym stairs to the second-floor elliptical machines.
But as soon as I pop my headphones in and turn on some music, my mood instantly changes and I feel like I can conquer any machine that comes my way! It sounds a bit extreme, but music really can be used as a great distracter and a good motivator.
Here are some of my workout favorites:
- Runaway Baby—Bruno Mars (2:28)
- Run The World (Girls)—Beyoncé (3:56)
- Express Yourself—Diplo ft. Nicky Da B (4:38)
- Headup—Deftones (5:12)
- Calabria 2007—ENUR ft. Natasja (3:51)
- Let’s Go—Calvin Harris ft. Ne-Yo (3:46)
- Va Va Voom—Nicki Minaj (3:03)
- Girl Gone Wild—Madonna (3:43)
- P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)—Michael Jackson (3:58)
- Sabotage—Beastie Boys (2:58)
I prefer songs with higher BPM (beats per minute) for more intense cardio workouts because they help keep me energized throughout the exercise routine. Experts say that an important factor in choosing workout music is the song’s tempo. Those that are between 120 and 140 beats per minute are ideal because they roughly match the average person’s heart rate while exercising. One of the easiest ways to determine a song’s BPM is by using a BPM tap application. iTunes and Google Play both offer BPM tap apps in which you tap the beat of a song and the BPM is calculated.
I like to choose mellower but still exciting songs for yoga. These create a sense of calmness, which yoga often requires, but helps me stay awake! Here are some songs to suggest to your yoga instructor or add to your own playlist:
- The Big Bang—Rock Mafia (2:40)
- My Girls—Animal Collective (5:42)
- Sail—AWOLNATION (4:19)
- Heartbeat (Them Jeans Remix)—Childish Gambino (5:22)
- Love Lockdown—Kanye West (4:31)
- Breathe—DEV (3:41)
- Fall Creek Boys Choir—James Blake, Bon Iver (4:41)
- Comes and Goes—Greg Laswell (4:14)
- Tighten Up—The Black Keys (3:31)
- Keep Breathing—Ingrid Michaelson (3:28)
I like finding new and inspiring music on Pandora (Hint: the Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout Radio is great!) and Spotify, with which you can listen to a pre-made station or find your own songs. Whether you’re looking for motivational lyrics or just a fun beat, these programs are great for finding the right exercise music for you and may even make you end up loving your gym!
What kind of music gets you going?
Photo credit: Joseph Kesisoglou