Working out to music helps you achieve a more effective workout. Moving to the beat of fast-paced music helps you keep your heart rate up, and listening to current grooves and classic tunes brings fun to an otherwise boring workout routine. An MP3 player or digital media device is the best tool for listening to music during a workout, because the movement won’t cause your tracks to skip. For a group class or a home workout, burn a CD of your playlist and play it on a CD or DVD player.
Diversify your playlist and choose songs that will address the different parts of your workout. The ideal workout playlist will include a section of midtempo songs for warming up, high-powered grooves for the bulk of your workout and some mellow beats to cool down at the workout's end. Fitness coach and television personality Jackie Warner blasts a mix of Brittany Spears, Rihanna, Kings of Leon and Katy Perry; the U.S. women's soccer team powers through its workouts with a mix of contemporary tunes by Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, as well as classic favorites like Kenny Loggins' "Footloose." For a half-hour workout, plan on five minutes of warm-ups, 20 minutes of sustained activity and five minutes of cooling down and stretches.
Tailor your playlist for each kind of workout. If you are doing half an hour of yoga in the morning, the thumping beats of your cardio workout playlist may be distracting and keep you from focusing properly. Traditional music from India features heavily on many yoga playlists, but positive, midtempo music from singers like Colbie Calliat, Lenny Kravitz and Corinne Bailey Rae can also add some pizazz to your sun salutations. Having playlists for different exercise regimens helps you get the most out of your workout routine.
Change your playlist every week to keep yourself from falling into a rut. While working out to a playlist can keep you motivated and help you pace your workout, you will gradually tune out the music and start going through your workout automatically. Your workout will be less effective if you thoughtlessly go through the motions instead of concentrating on every lunge, squat and step. Create a new playlist every Sunday night to begin your workout with a fresh start on Monday morning.