I think most exercisers agree that listening to some great music goes a long way when you're working out. It helps increase your energy and motivates you to work harder. In many ways, it even distracts you from the discomfort of exercise so that you'll keep going even when it's tough.
However, not just any music will do. We all have our own tastes and preferences for what we like to listen to when we exercise: pop, dance, techno, rock, metal, hip hop (Coach Jen's favorite), or all of the above. Sometimes, it's not the genre that matters; it's the pace (or beat). Others like inspirational lyrics. Personally, I think the beat matters. It has to match the pace of my workout—something I can't listen to and sit still. At the very least, I want to know (or be familiar with) the song that's playing. When I go to Spinning class, for example, and I encounter music that's too slow for the tempo of the workout, or too obscure for me to "escape" by singing along with the song in my head, I am not a happy exerciser.
Recently, I've been thinking about song length. Most radio hits are around 3 minutes long—you'd have to listen to 10 songs to get through a 30-minute workout—make that 20 for a full hour! I don't know about you, but my mind perceives that as a long time. So I've started to incorporate some longer songs into my playlists. Think of it this way: Would you rather know you have to exercise through 20 songs or 12? I pick 12. So I've gathered some of my favorite 4- to 6-minute workout songs to share with you! By selecting any 6-12 of them, you'll have a 30-60 minute workout playlist that's upbeat and motivating. As each song passes, you'll know you've hit a milestone in your workout. Stop watching the clock and start working out with these songs!
Click on each link to listen to a preview (or purchase the mp3) at Amazon or iTunes.
Aerosmith, Sweet Emotion (5:10) – Amazon iTunes
Angels & Airwaves, The Adventure (5:12) – Amazon iTunes
Audio Bullys, Shot You Down (6:33) – Amazon iTunes
Beastie Boys, Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) (4:08) – Amazon iTunes
Benassi Bros, Feel Alive (4:48) – Amazon iTunes
Coldplay, Clocks (5:07) – Amazon iTunes
Dave Matthews Band, Drive In Drive Out (5:54) – Amazon iTunes
Dave Matthews Band, Tripping Billies (5:00) – Amazon iTunes
DJ Sammy, Boys of Summer (4:55) – Amazon iTunes
Fatboy Slim, Praise You (5:23) – Amazon iTunes
Fatboy Slim, Wonderful Night, (4:46) – Amazon iTunes
Faze Action, Samba (5:58) – Amazon iTunes
Flock of Seagulls, I Ran (5:08) – Amazon iTunes
Global Deejays, What a Feeling (Progressive Follow Up Mix) (5:31) – Amazon iTunes
Jefferson Starship, We Built This City (4:54) – Amazon iTunes
John Mayer, 3x5 (4:50), – Amazon iTunes
Kanye West, Stronger (5:11) – Amazon iTunes
Lauryn Hill, Doo Wop (5:20) – Amazon iTunes
Lo Fidelity Allstars, Battleflag (5:40) – Amazon iTunes
Lynard Skynard, Sweet Home Alabama (4:43) – Amazon iTunes
Madonna, Get Together (5:14) – Amazon iTunes
Madonna, Ray of Light (5:20) – Amazon iTunes
Michael Jackson, Thriller (5:57) – Amazon iTunes
Miranda, Vamos a la Playa (6:09) – Amazon iTunes
My Chemical Romance, Welcome to the Black Parade (5:11) – Amazon iTunes
New Radicals, You Get What You Give (5:00) – Amazon iTunes
New Radicals, Mother We Just Can't Get Enough (5:48) – Amazon iTunes
Oasis, The Shock of the Lightening (5:09) – Amazon iTunes
Outkast, Bombs Over Baghdad (5:04) – Amazon iTunes
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dani California (4:42) – Amazon iTunes
Rusted Root, Ecstacy (5:02) – Amazon iTunes
Silversun Pickups, Lazy Eye (5:54) – Amazon iTunes
Sonique, Feels So Good (4:44) – Amazon iTunes
The All-American Rejects, The Last Song (5:00) – Amazon iTunes
The Jacksons, Shake Your Body Down to the Ground (3:44) – Amazon iTunes
The Killers, All These Things That I've Done (5:01) – Amazon iTunes
The Music, Take the Long Road and Walk It (4:53) – Amazon iTunes
The Verve, Bitter Sweet Symphony (5:58) – Amazon iTunes
U2, Walk On (4:56) – Amazon iTunes
Vinylshakerz, One Night in Bangkok XXL Mix (5:22) – Amazon iTunes
Do you prefer exercising to short songs or long ones? Which songs above would you add to your own playlist?
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