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Labette Health

The perfect playlist for your workout

Jan. 6, 2024—You know that getting regular, moderate physical activity is key to good health. But sometimes you simply don't feel motivated to get moving. When you need a little extra inspiration, turn to music.

The power of music

Research suggests that music can boost your workout in many ways.

It perks up your brain. When you hear music you enjoy, your mind and body respond with movement.

It distracts you. Music can keep your mind from focusing on the physical effort you're exerting. It also can improve your performance during a workout.

It helps you feel more coordinated. Any improved sense of physical coordination also will increase your feelings of confidence and enjoyment.

Tips for the perfect playlist

There's no single formula for selecting good exercise music. Here are some factors to think about:

  • Workout type and intensity. Will you be doing yoga, running or lifting weights?
  • Music role. Do you want your playlist to be front and center in your workout, driving your session? Or will it play in the background?
  • Tempo. Beats per minute (BPM) control the tempo. In general, says the American College of Sports Medicine, higher-tempo music with 110 to 155 bpm is great for Latin dance, step training and high-impact workouts. Lower-tempo music with 60 to 110 bpm is appropriate for activities like indoor cycling, yoga, Pilates and hip-hop dancing.
  • Personal preference. Choose tunes you know and love or explore a new artist or genre—it's up to you!

Safety considerations

Whatever music you choose, remember to work out safely. Keep the volume below 85 decibels to protect your hearing. And even if your playlist completely inspires you, listen to your body and stop when you feel pain or extreme exhaustion.

Looking for more fitness inspiration? Visit our Fitness and Exercise health topic center for information on exercise myths, food and exercise, sore muscle relief, and more.


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