It's been far too long since I've shared some new music ideas for you to update your workout playlists, but reading the New York Times Well blog recently reminded me just how important music is during exercise. Recapping several studies about music's affects on exercise intensity and perceived exertion, one in particular caught my eye. In a small study, male college students pedaled stationary bicycles while listening to popular music that the researchers secretly either slowed down or sped up at random, without the knowledge of the participants. When the music was faster, they pedaled faster, liked the music better, and elevated their heart rates more, yet perceived their workouts as less intense than they actually were. When the music slowed down, exactly the opposite happened.
We all know that some good booty-shaking tunes can make our workouts more fun, which is why I prefer to go for beat and music tempo over "motivation" factor, like how the song makes me feel or whether the actual lyrics are particularly inspiring.
If you want to boost the intensity of your workouts and make them feel easier at the same time, try update your workout playlist with one of these upbeat workout songs.
Black Eyed Peas – Rock That Body
Matchbox Twenty – How Far We've Come
Junior Senior – Move Your Feet
Michael Jackson – Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
The Sounds – Dance with Me
Madonna – Sorry
KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See
Journey – Any Way You Want It
Jimmy Eat World – Pain
Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces
Erasure – A Little Respect
Sean Paul – Temperature
Jennifer Lopez – Let's Get Loud
Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal
Johnny Cash – I've Been Everywhere
OK Go – Here It Goes Again
Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
Rihanna – Please Don't Stop the Music
The Offspring – You're Gonna Go Far, Kid
Rancid – Time Bomb
Outkast – Hey Ya
What are your favorite upbeat workout songs? Do you agree that great music can make your workouts feel easier?