It is a truth universally acknowledged that exercise is infinitely made better by music.
After all, the right exercise playlist can…
– Motivate you
– Distract you from any workout-related pain you might be experiencing (running, anyone?!?)
– Make you fitter
– Potentially even cure heart disease. I KNOW.
But there’s a lot involved in developing the perfect exercise playlist. You have to trawl through all your songs and cancel out everything ballad-y or slightly depressing. No Whitney Houston or Air Supply up in here. Then, you have to find songs with a particular tempo and uplifting lyrics, and arrange them in the perfect order: pump-up songs, songs to pick you up during a lull, going-over-the-imaginary-finish-line songs…
Lots of effort. And a serious problem if, like me, your iPod contains almost nothing but a couple of Pink Floyd albums and several random songs from Disney movie soundtracks.
But now, all our exercise-music-related-problems have been sorted by sports psychologists from London. They’ve gone and discovered the perfect music for every workout.
This from the UK press:
They found that rap music provides the best beats per minute for stretching and running, while dance music is more suited to strength training.
Pop music is best used during warm up and cool down, but rock music should be avoided during exercise due to frequent changes in tempo that can affect your rhythm.
You see, it’s all to do with BPM – a beat range used in music that needs to match up with whatever strides you’re taking during your workout. For running, the ideal BMP is 75 to 95, which is generally a beat range typically used in rap music
The clever sports psychologists took this BPM measurement and proceeded to analyse a ridiculous 6.7 million Spotify “workout” playlists… all to come up with the perfect playlist for a good workout. I KNOW.
It includes songs for mental prep, stretching, cardio training, strength training and a warm down.