Songs to make your workout stronger

While studying for my ACE Group Fitness Certification test, I read a lot about exercise music. From BPM to volume, do not underestimate the power of a good workout playlist. Music can motivate, invigorate, calm, and inspire you. It can also function as a metronome, helping you maintain a steady pace whether you're on a bike or twisting your way into tree pose. As we dive into Running Safety Month, it's important to understand three things about the tunes that keep you moving:

1. Keep volume under 85 decibels.

Do you know what 85 decibels sounds like? Think blow-dryer or kitchen blender. Understand what a normal volume level is and protect your ears (this list should help). Ear health is so important - especially because  in 1 in 3 adults experience hearing loss by age 65. Once those tiny hair cells in the ear are damaged by loud noise, they cannot be replaced.

Turn down the tunes and never be ashamed to wear earplugs in a workout class, if only to take the edge off of the music. After all, you're working out because you love and respect your body.

2. Pace your workouts with music.

Coordinate your music with your workout for the most effect sweat sesh. Speed and tempo have the greatest impact on exercise intensity. A 2013 study concluded that carefully-selected music has been shown to increase work output and reduce feelings of fatigue.

Start with slower music (115-120 BPM) to warm-up and gradually increase intensity. We love Teenage Dream by Katy Perry. Lifting weights? Avoid injury by picking songs in the 130-140 BPM range.

Can you keep going? According to a 2015 study, when the brain hears music, it releases chemical opioids that can dull pain and make you less tired. Transition to music around 140-160 BPM for faster runs and cardio. We're motivated by Good Feeling by Flo Rida.

Once you've finished your workout, always, always give yourself appropriate recovery time. Slow it down and stretch it out to the right music (<100 BPM).

3. Tune into your surroundings.

Whether you are in the gym or on the road, safety should always be your #1 priority. In addition to keeping your volume level below 85 decibels, make sure your music never impairs your safety. You should always be able to hear surrounding traffic and your fellow gym-goers.

We love listening to our AfterShokz wireless headphones when we work out. Whereas traditional headphones send sound through your eardrums, bone conduction headphones send sound through the bones of your skull. AfterShokz headphones have transducers in place of speakers that send vibrations through your cheekbones to your cochleas (inner ear). This technology means you can workout with music and hear ambient sounds.

{Side note: In some cases, AfterShokz's bone conductive technology has allowed the hearing impaired to listen to music! Say whaaat?! Check it out here.}

As always, it’s important to listen to your body. Music can help push you to new physical limits, but if you get to the point where it causes pain: STOP. Now, tell us what's on your playlist.

Here’s what we’re listening to while we #sweatpink:
  • For yoga, Nicci loves BTSTU by Jai Paul (90 BPM).
  • For pull-ups and HIIT yoga, Jamie plays Desperado by Rihanna (94 BPM).
  • For running, Courtney listens to Thumbs by Sabrina Carpenter (135 BPM).

Need more music inspiration? Check out this Tunes Tuesday link-up with Sweat Pink Ambassadors Kimberly, Janelle, and Stef.

Pin this!

Why you should never run alone, and the most important running gear, ever. 

Courtney Ferris

Courtney Ferris

Courtney is a FT Growth Marketing Consultant, PT Sweat Pink Chapter Manager, and ACE-certified group fitness instructor. When she's not busy working, she loves skiing, hiking, cycling, and traveling. Her blog <www.thedaringdarling.com> is her creative space to share her love for health, wellness, travel, and adventure. If you're in Washington, DC, get in touch and join one of our Sweat Pink DMV events!

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