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Healthy, Homemade Gifts: Mix CD (Workout Playlist)

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Songs can make or break a workout. The right song can get you in the "zone" and help ease you past a plateau. The wrong song can make you zone out. (Could someone please tell that to my Spinning instructor, who has been using the same playlist for two months!?)

Do you have an mp3 player or CD collection that's full of upbeat workout songs for cardio or relaxing songs for your yoga practice?

Pick a dozen or so of your favorites, and burn a CD for a friend. Be sure to include "liner notes" with the singer and name of each song.

I recently made a cardio playlist for a friend. Here are some of the songs I included:
"Sister Kate" by the Ditty Bops
"Speeding Cars" by Imogen Heap
"Rise Up" by the Indigo Girls
"The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson
"New Soul" by Yael Nam
"Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall
"Waiting for Wednesday" by Lisa Loeb
"Portland, Oregon" by Loretta Lynn
"Silver Lining" by Rilo Kiley

Need some inspiration? Check out our SparkSounds playlists.

What's on your workout playlist right now?

*Of course, you'll want to legally download all music you include on your playlist. :)

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When we listen to one of our favorite, up-beat, more happy songs. The fact is, our mood is going to change. Music can influence people.
So upbeat, racing, blood boiling music will help us get our butts moving, grooving , losing weight and getting heathier.
This is my mix for walking .

Start out with a warm up and always cool down.
1. You Sang to Me : Marc Anthony
2. Can You Believe : Robin Thicke
3. Stronger : Kanye West
4. Hate On Me: Jill Scott
5. Walk In My Shoes: Emily King featuring Lupe Fiasco
6. Do Your Thang : "NCYNC"
7. I Don't Wanna Be: Garvin Degraw
8. Say I : Christina Milan
9. Fly: Hilary duff
10.Unwritten : Natasha Bedingfield
Total time approx 43 minutes
This is yet another fabulous gift idea! I actually got one of these a couple of years ago from a good friend...I still listen to it and LOVE it! Report
This makes a great gift! I do this quite often for my friends who need new music for their workouts. Report
I love the suggestions, I am just putting together an exercise playlist, and I had no idea where to start. Your suggestions have given me hope for motivation. Report
Music is a huge motivator. Without it, my life would be awfully boring, anxious and so on. Music is my sanity. Even Leslie Sansone stresses the importance of music on her in home walking videos. Report
I love it when the coaches blog about the importance of music. I have gotten many fantastic ideas from all of you! Keep 'em coming! I love 80s and 90s alternative & punk but some of my guilty pleasures (don't tell my husband) are Britney Spears and Rhianna. :) Anything to get your butt moving, right?? Report
Burning your own CD mix, for your own use, is "Fair Use."

I'm not sure that applies to tunes you give to others. Everybody does it, sure, but maybe SP shouldn't be recommending it. Report
I think that having a great play list completely makes any workout, without my Ipod there is no way I could all that I am doing now. I change up the songs for more motivation. Report
Great idea---thank you! Report
Thanks for all these great suggestions! Report
KRHM...if you just burn your own CD and give the results as gifts all that money is away from the original artist and I consider that stealing... Not the greatest CHRIST-mas present eh?
If you pay some bucks for down loading the songs from internet it's all different then. Why you think they try to SELL their CDs/DVDs anyway? Report
Here's my current playlist...first song is for warming up...Teenage wasteland, In the navy, YMCA, macho man, She's a lady, soak up the sun...She Bangs...that's just a few.... Report
Here's my current playlist...first song is for warming up...Teenage wasteland, In the navy, YMCA, macho man, She's a lady, soak up the sun...She Bangs...that's just a few.... Report
As embarrassing as this may sound, Britney Spears has some of the best workout songs! Report
Thanks for this article! And suggestions from everyone. I am finally revamping itunes and made a running playlist - gonna try to learn to run soon... Some that I have put there are:

Suavemente - Elvis Crespo
Funk Soul Brother - Fatboy Slim
Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
Work It - Missy Elliot
Come on Eileen - No Doubt version
Bombs Over Bagdad - Outkast
And I'm looking for Pink's new song now! Report
Here are a few songs that I've recently downloaded to my MP3 player:
So What by Pink
Womanizer by Britney Spears
When I Grow Up by PCD
Rock and Roll Train by AC/DC
Start A Band by Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
Light On by David Cook
Have A Nice Day by Bon Jovi Report
I would love to have workout music. I have a mp3 player but where do you go to get free music? Can you download the sparkmusic to the player? Report
This is a great idea! I can't workout without my MP3 player handy. I have set up folders with music for walking, low impact workouts, high impact workouts and cool downs. I did this because I hated being on the elliptical with a upbeat song and then a slow song came on that broke my stride. This way, all the music is around the same tempo and it keeps me pumped the whole time. It also helps with not getting bored listening to the same songs all the time. I just switch the folder and there is a new group of songs to listen to. Report
Body Mix: Disco cardio is my favorite! I start in the treadmill between 3-3.5 miles per hour and get up to 3.7-4.2 miles per hour after 20 minutes up warmup. Then it slows down again. When finished I have about 10 minutes left to finish the hour so I add some John Tesh at the end.
I bought it at Target, but seen it in Amazon, too. It was $10.00, that has been really worth it. Report
I'd like this as a gift, I am just old enough that I do not have an MP3 player, have never downloaded music and don't really know how. If you are into this stuff you could give your granny (your real one or a low tech friend)a gift certificate where you will help them chose their equipment (they pay) and show them how to locate and acquire their tunes. (You can pay for one disc as part of the overall gift).
It is intimidating to have to learn how to work one more new thing, especially if you are a marginal consumer for that type of service.

Now on my disc I want, The Flight of the Bumblebee, The William Tell Overture, Windy by the Association, A Fifth of Beetoven (not Beetoven's fifth - this is the Jazzy one), The Swinging Sheppard Blues by Moe Koffman, Zanzibar Sunset by Chad and Jerromy. send it to me soon, eh? Rosie Report
music always motivates me to do my exercises, beat will determine what i do and the intensity Report
I am a great fan on the 70' - 80's "hair band" music it is really rocking for cardio Report
Great idea, thanks for sharing. Report
This is brilliant! I'm going to make one for my best friend today. Report
I have about 200 songs on my workout playlist, always listened to on shuffle... but some of my guilty pleasures:

- The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
- Dancing Queen - ABBA
- The Mortal Kombat theme
- James Brown Is Dead - LA Style

:D Report
I listen to CMT TV!! Report
I don't know some of these songs; I'll have to check them out. I would add almost anything by Pink to the list. I love to work out to her music! Report
I guess I'm an old fuddy duddy, I still like some of the songs on Flashdance, Bon Jovi, Guns N Roses, and like someone else said, "angry chick" songs. Gets the blood boiling so I go faster. Report
I listen to my friend, Achim Petry, while I workout... Also listen to his Dad's music... Report
There are SO many...but I'll just name a few that have recently popped up in my mix:

Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark (Can't Start a Fire Without a SPARK!), Born To RUN!, 57 Channels & Nothing On

George Benson - Baby WORKOUT, Without A Song

The Who - Live At Leeds...practically WHOLE ALBUM! ::-)

Tom Petty - Running Down A Dream

Katrina & The Waves - Walking On Sunshine

The Bangles - Walk Like An Egyptian

Talking Heads - Burning Down The House, Making Flippy Floppy, Psycho Killer, Life During Wartime

Spin Doctors - Two Princes, Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

Blues Traveler - Runaround, Crash & Burn

Have fun SPARKING out there! :-)

Don, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals Report
I Love listening to Marc Anthony (salsa music) while I workout! It gets me moving & groovin' every time... It never fails! Report
I use my "angry chick" music for workouts :) Report
Some playlist ideas for jogging/running
Voodoo & Serano-Blood is Pumping
The Killers-Mr.Brightside
Metro Station-Shake it
The Midway State-Never again
Metallica-Enter Sandman Report
I do have different playlists for different moods, activities, etc. and it truly helps! I have a special "attitude" one that I use to walk, work out, any physical activity, it gets me in "workout" mode!!! Report
I have to say that I have an ipod and I love it because I have my own playlist for when I run and I different one for when I cool down and stretch and then a totally different one if I am doing my strength training. I feel that it really does help me focus on what I am doing! Report
(most of these are free - but it's a great site -it's unsigned bands -some are absolute crap but some are really quite good -poke around and have a listen - some bands want you to sign u for their mailing lists -but it's not so bad)
(this had a ton of live concert music from teh dead and id you poke around -1000s of other bands as well Report
I'd love to download some music on my mp3 player but I'm kinda clueless about how to go about it. Are there any sites out there anymore that you can load music for free? Do I have to buy a bunch of CD's? Some suggestions of sites would be great if anyone has any. Thanks much! I need all the motivation I can possibly get. I'm clawing my way out of a hole of depression right now.... so some good upbeat tunes would be great. Report
again for the right person (some would be offended by it - what you think i'm fat? ) and make it an exercise challenge cd... at various time intervals - playing good music - andmake a serious of then - beginners intermediate advanced -every oneminute do jumping jacks, or lunges, or side bends, or other exercises -and the beginner tape is for 1 minute.. Music is better than a boring exericse dvd and you can do the music anywhere... Report
for the right person you can even take it one step furhter - a buddy of mine wanted to do the couch to 5k plan but couldn't take the music on the downloads...So I made my own version of it with decent music and added in my own queues for when to walk and when to run... the dubbing took about 10 minutes for the queues...
I like to do cardio to TaTu, Nightwish or Static X. They all get me going and having the slow to fast with Nightwish helps for that extra push. Report
My favorite work out song is Hanging Tough by New Kids on The Block and anything that is a trance or thrive mix song. Report
my fav work out song is - a work out remix of whitney houston - i wanna dance with somebody! Report
"Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash Report
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