Lose to the Beat

You know those days when you forget to charge your iPod for the gym, so you're left listening to the unfortunate pop songs or country music chosen by the girl at the front desk? You may have noticed that your performance sans-iPod is not your best. You aren't alone. Studies suggest that listening to music really does improve endurance.

Music helps you dissociate from your bad day, general stress and the fatigue that makes you give up easily. Instead, it promotes positive feelings and keeps you focused on your workout.

Genre

Your music choice can affect your workout immensely, and you should match your music with intended results. For example, never listen to relaxing or soothing tunes while strength training. Studies show that even silence is better than relaxing music for muscular performance. Choose faster songs that will keep you motivated.

Likewise, when you're trying to push yourself to run that extra mile, choose a favorite, upbeat song to keep you going. When you're warming up, stretching and winding down, choose softer, relaxing music.

Playlist

The key to an effective workout is the perfect mix. Make a playlist full of songs you enjoy, and you'll be more likely to keep going until the music is done. Mix your favorite songs with some of these workout hits chosen by Fitness magazine:

  • SexyBack/Justin Timberlake
  • Ain't No Other Man/Christina Aguilera
  • Fergalicious/Fergie
  • Girlfriend/Avril Lavigne
  • Maneater/Nelly Furtado
  • My Humps/Black Eyed Peas
  • Promiscuous/Nelly Furtado
  • This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race/Fall Out Boy
  • It's Not Over/Chris Daughtry
  • This Is Why I'm Hot/Mims

Kick your workout up a notch with a great soundtrack. Put on your sneakers, grab your gym bag and don't forget to bring the music. You'll be outrunning that marathoner in no time!