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Music Makes Workouts More Pleasurable

Play that Funky Music
  -- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer

Going to the gym and working out can get monotonous. The same machines, the same steps on the treadmill, it gets boring. Aside from changing gyms, what is something that can be done to make it a little more exciting each time you go? The answer is music. We know music is often used in a yoga-type setting to calm the participants and aid in the relaxation. But you can also arouse your body with the energy of sounds.

Some gyms play upbeat music in the background, which you may or may not enjoy. So instead, bring your own set of headphones. Create your own exercise mix to listen to. The music can be used to motivate and to cue you throughout the workout. Running on the treadmill? Use songs to set and change your pace. You can create your CD so it has a slow song to warm up to, an up-tempo one for the actual workout and then another slow one for the cool down. Match the songs to the type of workout you want to participate in.

Recent research shows music, often used in healing, can actually affect brain wave patterns. It can definitely get one energized. Music can oftentimes put you in a more positive mood (often an outcome of working out in general), which is also beneficial to your health. The more fast-paced the music is, the more adrenaline you might experience.

Vary the music with your workout. What you listen to while biking may be different than what you’ll need to hear while lifting weights. Use the songs to customize the exercises. You can actually go as far as to coordinate the beats per minute in the song to your own heart’s BPM.

Music serves to take your mind off of the fact you are exercising. It’ll distract you from your fatigue and possible muscle soreness. Working out will become more pleasurable than simple monotonous movements. There is no one specific musical genre best combined with exercise; that clearly depends on your personal taste. Some great ideas, though, for something upbeat include salsa, country, big band, disco, or even funk. Pick songs you can sing along to, or that have a great rhythm. Most of all, bring some fun back into exercise. While the guy or girl next to you is sweating away on the machine, you can be belting out lyrics in your head, or out loud for that matter. Enjoy!