When I am packing my gym bag, my earphones are just as important as my trackie bottoms. I wouldn't wander in the weights section without having both of these items firmly attached to my person.
Music just increases the value of my workout. Without it, I just kid of amble around - mooching from water cooler to yoga mat, wondering if I could get away with having a little cat nap in child pose. I'd be fine for five minutes anyway, wouldn't I?
And research shows that listening to some beats on the treadmill can work in six different ways:
- Simply put, it makes you want to move. And we know that lethargy is the enemy.
- It elevates your mood, and we know that endorphins are our friends.
- A good beat helps you to keep pace, you move in sync with the music.
- The right music can put you in the right frame of mind to exercise. No one is going to break their PB listening to wee Daniel.
- We work harder when we are listening to faster music; we increase both our efforts and number of calories burned.
- Listening to music distracts us from bodily awareness. So while your mind is focusing on what is coming through the earphones, it can't devote all its attention to the cramp in your leg or the bunion on your toes.
I don't know if I am super-organised or just a bit odd, but I have two different playlists for the gym.
The first is for cardio, when I need a beat to keep me going. And this is where all my guilty pleasures come out - Britney, Beyoncé and Rihanna are all favourites.
And then I can veer into dance territory - David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Justice, The Chemical Brothers. And I'm not above resorting to some Cascada if times are REALLY tough.
And when I want to get the bpm down (both of heart rate and music) for weights or stretching, I go for my second playlist.
This one is made of music that is a little slower but with a big fat bass to keep my mind focused on it - M.I.A., The Killers, Arctic Monkeys, The 1975. It is possible that I should pop on an oversized black leather jacket, sunglasses and a scowl at this point in the workout.
And now it's over to you!
Do you prefer silence, music or Coronation Street when you are exercising? Do you like to channel Rocky with Eye of the Tiger? And what are YOUR top three tracks for the gym? Share with us in the comments and we'll create a beaut playlist to get us moving!