No matter what genre of music you prefer, one thing all music lovers can agree on is that listening to your favorite jams can make all the difference when it comes to doing things you don't really want to do. For many, it's already a drag to get off the couch and go to the gym, so listening to music while you're working out can make the experience more pleasant. Some even find it impossible to get through a gym session without music. What's more enjoyable to hear while you run: Beyonce or your own heavy breathing?
"Upbeat music can motivate you to work harder."
Music and fitness
There are many reasons that music can help you reach your fitness goals. Aside from the obvious point that listening to your favorite album can distract you during monotonous activity, like running on a treadmill, studies have shown that upbeat music can even motivate you to work harder. One study, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, found that when subjects listened to fast music, they cycled harder and longer and enjoyed their workout more. Music on its own can elevate your mood, so it can do the same thing when you're becoming bored of your exercise routine. However, you don't want to just turn your Spotify or iPod on shuffle when you're at the gym. In fact, there are ways to make an incredibly effective workout playlist that'll keep you going.
How to make a playlist
If your preferred method of exercise is cardio, consider running or cycling to music that matches your rate of movement. Working out to music that matches your stride can keep you from slowing down. According to research published in the Sports Journal of Medicine and Physical Fitness, this can actually make you work out more efficiently. The study found that people who moved in time with their tunes used seven percent less oxygen than people who worked out with music they didn't synchronize to their movement.
Most people find themselves moving at a rate between 150 and 160 beats per minute. To determine your rate, just count the number of steps or cycles you take for a minute. There are many apps that sort songs by beats per minute, allowing your music to transition from your warm up and increase in intensity.
It should go without saying, but you should also opt for music that you enjoy in your workout playlist. You don't want to have to keep stopping to skip to the next song. Pick your favorite tunes with a quick tempo and throw in some songs with uplifting messages for good measure. These will pump you up and keep you going.
Popular workout tunes
If you want to start a workout playlist, but have no idea where to start, never fear! Billboard Magazine partnered with the Echo Nest, Spotify's data science department to find the top songs that are featured on fitness playlists. The top 10 include:
- "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson
- "Thinking Out Loud" by Ed Sheeran
- "See You Again" by Wiz Khalifa
- "Trap Queen" by Fetty Wap
- "Sugar" by Maroon 5
- "Shut Up and Dance" by Walk the Moon
- "Watch Me Whip" by Silento
- "Earned" by The Weeknd
- "The Hills" by The Weeknd
- "Cheerleader" by OMI
According to a survey by the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance, the most popular types of music to work out to are:
- Hip hop, with 27.7 percent of responders preferring this genre.
- Rock, with 25 percent.
- Pop, with 20.3 percent.
- Country, with 12.7 percent.
One last note
It is important to not let your music put you in danger while working out, however. Keep your headphones at a reasonable volume to avoid damaging your ears and be aware of your surroundings. If you're running or cycling outside, you want to be able to hear if cars are coming or if another person is coming up behind you. And of course, working out is just a part of weight loss. You also need a sustainable eating method, like the Food Lovers Fat Loss System to ensure you keep the weight off.