40 Upbeat Songs to Make Your Workout Fly By


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/12/2013 6:00 AM   :  207 comments   :  667,736 Views

I think most exercisers agree that listening to some great music goes a long way when you're working out. It helps increase your energy and motivates you to work harder. In many ways, it even distracts you from the discomfort of exercise so that you'll keep going even when it's tough.

However, not just any music will do. We all have our own tastes and preferences for what we like to listen to when we exercise: pop, dance, techno, rock, metal, hip hop (Coach Jen's favorite), or all of the above. Sometimes, it's not the genre that matters; it's the pace (or beat). Others like inspirational lyrics. Personally, I think the beat matters. It has to match the pace of my workout—something I can't listen to and sit still. At the very least, I want to know (or be familiar with) the song that's playing. When I go to Spinning class, for example, and I encounter music that's too slow for the tempo of the workout, or too obscure for me to "escape" by singing along with the song in my head, I am not a happy exerciser.

Recently, I've been thinking about song length. Most radio hits are around 3 minutes long—you'd have to listen to 10 songs to get through a 30-minute workout—make that 20 for a full hour! I don't know about you, but my mind perceives that as a long time. So I've started to incorporate some longer songs into my playlists. Think of it this way: Would you rather know you have to exercise through 20 songs or 12? I pick 12. So I've gathered some of my favorite 5-minute workout songs to share with you! By selecting any 6-12 of them, you'll have a 30-60 minute workout playlist that's upbeat and motivating. As each song passes, you'll know you've hit a 5-minute milestone in your workout. Stop watching the clock and start working out with these songs!

Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at amazon.com.

Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion (5:10)
Angels & Airwaves – The Adventure (5:12)
Audio Bullys –Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (5:48)
Beastie Boys –Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) (5:32)
Benassi Bros – Feel Alive (4:49)
Coldplay – Clocks (5:09)
Dave Matthews Band –Drive In Drive Out (5:54)
Dave Matthews Band – Tripping Billies (5:00)
DJ Sammy –Boys of Summer (4:55)
Fatboy Slim – Praise You (5:23)
Fatboy Slim – Wonderful Night (4:46)
Faze Action – Samba (5:55)
Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (5:07)
Global Deejays – What a Feeling (Progressive Follow Up Mix) (5:28)
Jefferson Starship – We Built This City on Rock & Roll (4:58)
John Mayer – 3x5 (4:50)
Kanye West – Stronger (5:11)
Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (5:20)
Lo Fidelity Allstars – Battleflag (5:36)
Lynard Skynard – Sweet Home Alabama (5:00)
Madonna – Get Together (5:31)
Madonna – Ray of Light (5:20)
Michael Jackson – Thriller (5:12)
Miranda –Vamos a la Playa (Ibiza club mix) (5:09)
My Chemical Romance – Welcome to the Black Parade (5:09)
New Radicals – You Get What You Give (5:02)
New Radicals – Mother We Just Can't Get Enough (5:45)
Oasis – The Shock of the Lightning (5:10)
Outkast – Bombs Over Baghdad (5:06)
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Dani California (4:40)
Rusted Root – Ecstasy (5:02)
Silversun Pickups – Lazy Eye (5:54)
Sonique –Feels So Good (5:25)
The All-American Rejects – The Last Song (5:00)
The Jacksons –Shake Your Body Down to the Ground (5:19)
The Killers – All These Things That I've Done (5:02)
The Music – Take the Long Road and Walk It (4:53)
The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony (5:59)
U2 – Walk On (4:58)
Vinylshakerz – One Night in Bangkok XXL Mix (5:22)

Do you prefer exercising to short songs or long ones? Which songs above would you add to your own playlist?

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  • 207
    love a good collaboration to keep me going - 5/27/2014   12:26:52 PM
  • 206
    I am always looking for new workout songs but most of these don't quite get me going. Party rock, electronica or upbeat mixes are a go to for me. - 5/27/2014   1:13:16 AM
  • 205
    How about "I'm so excited", or Party Rock Anthem? - 10/17/2013   11:44:03 PM
  • 204
    An old song that was great for pacing when I run or walk is Evelyn Champagne King's SHAME, or SPACE JAM (which I hope to one day be able to jump rope through the entire length). The extended version of Sheila E's "The Glamorous Life" with the drum solos are really motivating. And Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough."
    However, my very favorite long songs tend to be Gospel - Fred Hammond in particular. - 5/2/2013   1:09:45 AM
    I love to listen to Motion Traxxs these are free if you join email. It is a number of song linked together or a mix, that have a beat and there are different speed or beat you can choose, along with the length of the mix. It has a difinite beat that keeps me going. - 4/21/2012   2:29:48 PM
    Found this awesome upbeat song and have been working out to it for the past couple weeks ... it keeps me moving the whole time!!! It's called

    "Haunted" by Matthew C. Shuman

    I first found it on YouTube and then downloaded it off of Amazon!

    - 3/31/2012   11:51:31 AM
  • 201
    always looking for new song ideas.
    thanks - 8/31/2011   3:18:43 PM
  • LRW1233
    I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who still listens to "I Ran" lol I like the idea of longer songs but some of them are a little slow for me. - 8/14/2011   7:57:11 PM
  • 199
    Don't know much on this list. but I would love to put together a few gospel tracks that are upbeat. I set up pandora on my phone with Kirk Franklin and get some of what I like but I still end up getting some music that is not conducive to working out, sometimes I end up hitting next a lot. Otherwise Pandora is great for music selection. - 4/20/2011   6:59:17 PM
    I need new songs!! - 3/17/2011   6:11:06 AM
  • 197
    I see I'm going to have a create an exercise music list for us Flower Children and 70's - although I also like a lot of the 80's music too ... not familiar with probably 80% of these groups/songs. I tend to like longer songs if I'm going to have to put in some serious time, but for a short walk then shorter songs are nice too... - 11/5/2010   3:05:24 PM
  • 196
    While I own a couple of those, they're not on my list. I have a collection of "regulars" on my playlist like Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, and Placebo. I change out the rest on a monthly basis so I don't get bored of hearing the same ole rotation. - 9/24/2010   6:49:40 PM
  • 195
    I'll have to try some of these, you forget some of the old favourites! - 8/23/2010   7:49:44 AM
    Michael Jackson "Thriller" is a great work out! - 7/20/2010   11:23:11 PM
  • 193
    Great list. I DVR "talk shows" and watch them while walking on the treadmill. Makes the time pass fast because I get interested in the show and lose track of the time I've spent walking. - 6/9/2010   9:30:44 PM
  • 192
    I agree with MCJULIEO I feel old because I too do not recognize half of the songs! - 6/9/2010   3:38:45 PM
    I usually talk when I am exercising - 3/30/2010   2:05:45 PM
  • 190
    I don't so much mind how long a song is... I really like a steady beat. Unfortunately, a lot of exercise mixes don't sound like the originals to me, so I will use the original over a remix. - 3/12/2010   10:32:55 PM
  • 189
    Great list! Thanks for sharing - 2/11/2010   11:41:26 AM
    I also love to listen to music while working out, usually Praise, Contemporary Christian, or Oldies, but I do have a broad array on my ipod. It helps me forget about the tiredness, pains, and to perservere through to success. - 2/4/2010   2:56:24 PM
  • 187
    Holy crap. You have awesome taste in music. o.o It's pretty rare to see someone else who rocks the GaGa and the Flock of Seagulls at the same time.
    - 1/7/2010   9:35:52 AM
  • 186
    Man, I feel REALLY OLD... I don't even recognize half of these songs! - 1/6/2010   4:58:33 PM
  • 185
    I'm with the older crowd on country...personally my favorites for workouts are Rodney Atkins "The Middle", Brooks & Dunn "Hillbilly Deluxe", and Aaron Tippin "Big Boy Toys". And pretty much anything (upbeat) by Toby Keith!! ("She's a Hottie" always gets me motivated...) - 1/6/2010   2:36:21 PM
  • JONES132...
    I do like songs at least 5 min. I find Michael Jackson has quite a few that fit my aerobic pace and energize me. But I also like a lot of music from the Baroque Era. Once Bach or Vivaldi set up a tempo, it's consistent to the end of the piece and a lot of these are quite lively (vivace). Truly I can't exercise without music!!!!!!!!!!! - 10/18/2009   7:02:49 PM
    The list is very interesting. There are a bunch on there that I know and several I don't. I think longer songs make the time go by faster, especially if it's a favourite. I would probably have some of Hillsongs more faster paced songs on there and plenty of 60's, 70's, 80's and a few 90's on my list. - 9/21/2009   10:53:52 AM
  • 182
    One of the best inventions of the IPOD is Genius. I like to put my IPOD on shuffle, but in the middle of a workout I could end up hearing something from the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack...not always the beat I need. Genius puts music together for you that is all similar to the first song you chose - 8/9/2009   2:02:18 PM
    I personally like country music - I'm just starting out with an MP3 player so some good country music suggestions to exercise by would be great! - 8/7/2009   11:29:05 AM
  • 180
    Awesome list!
    Definitely going to add the songs I don't already have, to my playlist!!
    - 8/7/2009   11:18:01 AM
  • 179
    Mostly listen to full CDs, a few are on your list. Thanks for the additions. - 8/6/2009   11:50:55 PM
  • 178
    Great list of songs! - 8/6/2009   6:35:32 PM
    when i'm walking, there are several tracks on the Lord of the Dance (irish step dance) CD that really get my feet flying. and they're fun to listen to! very upbeat and energetic. - 8/6/2009   4:55:40 PM
  • 176
    I love my cheesy pop when I'm exercising. It's all designed to get tweens up and dancing, plus they have eternally cheerful messages. Shamefully I dig my Hannah Montanna/Miley Cyrus, and Demi Levato best.

    Also great bands Flogging Molly (Celtic Rock) and Bond (instrumental Rock). All American Rejects, Bowling for Soup, and 80s Dance hits all get me up and moving.

    - 8/6/2009   12:42:33 PM
  • 175
    I love the genius feature on itunes. It takes a song you like & matches songs to it. It's a great feature. - 7/30/2009   2:15:09 PM
    I LOVE music.... It can make or break a workout... Check out some of Jason and deMarco's remixes. Great beats and great messages. Especially "This is Love" and "It's Okay". They have tons of original fabulous songs (you can find them on youtube, amazon, or itunes). Also, if you like their stuff, Alan Lett has some great upbeat music as well. - 7/4/2009   11:34:07 PM
  • 173
    Fabulous list!!! I love consistently adding new songs to my running playlist and I will check out the ones you mentioned above that I didn't recognize. I feel so good when I'm running to a new song. Actually that's one of the first things I think when I hear a new song on the radio, "will this motivate me when I run?" I love my running playlist. Thanks for this post!!! - 6/27/2009   5:24:11 PM
  • 172
    I have a little bit of everything to choose from - danceable beats are a must I'm a big hip hop fan! Try ‘world’ music on itunes – sample some reggaeton or bhangra - you don’t need to know the words just move to the beat! - 6/23/2009   10:20:03 AM
  • 171
    Love Michael Jackson's BEAT IT. - 6/22/2009   1:33:53 AM
    Thank you for posting this! Even though not every single song on this list made it to my iPod, it reminded me of a few good ones that I need to add, and has "sparked" an ongoing discussion between myself and a few of my friends - even ones who aren't yet Spark Members. We blog about our current workout tunes on MySpace, Facebook and LiveJournal, recommending songs to each other and helping stay motivated. And just think... it all started from reading this post! - 6/14/2009   5:02:46 PM
  • 169
    they forgot the following songs
    the kill-30seconds to mars
    circus-brittany spears
    roxann -mulan rouge soundtrack
    cry -godley and cream - 6/8/2009   8:28:26 PM
  • 168
    I change up my playlists often to keep myself from getting in a rut or bored. There is so much music out there! I like a little bit of everything! I really welcome the opportunity to descover new sounds and re-acquaint myself with older ones :) - 6/8/2009   1:24:54 PM
    great list! - 6/7/2009   10:27:25 AM
    Native American Powwow Drum Music! The beat varies from 2 step to men's fancy or women's fancy shawl. Throw in some sneak up music and you have the perfect round-up for exercise. - 6/7/2009   10:25:06 AM
  • SYIETA@0
    my favorite is Lyuryn Hill, and before i knew it on the treadmill and even when i walked, listening to music that i liked made time go faster. and it didn't feel so much like exercise. - 6/6/2009   5:16:28 PM
  • 164
    This is a cool little mix of music, Nicole! Thanks for this note about music. I know it feels like a drag when you know how long your playlist is. So stocking up on 5-minute or even 12-inch versions of rare funk finds (YES!) is great idea! So thank you! Of course, I would recommend to anyone having the theme from "Rocky" as a staple in the mix. That's pretty long, I think. - 5/12/2009   3:12:04 AM
  • 163
    I guess I'm a bit of an anomaly. Music distracts me when I work out. I like to concentrate on the muscles I'm working on. - 5/4/2009   12:03:29 PM
  • 162
    Boy, there are some really good songs. I suggest an ipod for everybody. Some of my favorites are listed, but I didn't see Bread's "Mother Freedom" and John Cougar Mallencamp's "Hurt so Good." I like a "beaty" song too...I try to keep pace with it that way I'm getting more out of my walk.
    - 4/28/2009   4:57:06 PM
  • 161
    Closer by Neyo and Womanizer by Britney Spears push me to run hard throughout the whole song. - 4/27/2009   12:26:26 AM
  • 160
    I love music and it is easy for me to get into my work out that way.. - 4/26/2009   1:06:09 PM
  • 159
    I never leave home without my MP3 player! - 4/26/2009   9:31:11 AM
  • 158
    Firestarter by Prodigy
    Several songs by Rage against the Machine - 4/25/2009   8:49:53 PM

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