Monday, August 11, 2008

Adding Music to the Mix

While hiking this morning in Mills Reservation (check out the photos!), stomping to the beat of "Push" by Matchbox 20, I got to thinking about how much better I feel when I exercise with music. And clearly, I'm not alone: check out all the ipods and MP3s donning the ears of all the folks at your gym or jogging down the street! Something about music inspires us to move, sweat, and keep going. I wondered if anyone's ever looked into this phenomenon using a scientific approach, and lo and behold, a study was done in 2005 suggesting that exercisers moving to music lose more weight than music-shunning exercisers, and helped with consistency as well as compliance.

And music boosts mood, to boot!

What kind of music? That's up to you. If you have an ipod, you can create a playlist that corresponds to your exercise; for example, if you like a slow warmup, choose an easy listening song you enjoy as the first tune. Then, if you like to gradually build speed, for example, choose tunes with beats that match your workout. If you complete your workout with a stretching routine, bottom out your playlist with Enya or something.

Need ideas? Dowload workout playlists from FITNESS magazine's web site! Cool stuff.

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