Some days you wake up and just don’t feel like sticking to your exercise routine, but something we do all the time could actually help motivate you - listening to music. Firing up your favorite playlist can get you motivated to go for that walk. “What you’re hearing from the voices in your head, telling you that you don’t feel right or you’re too tired or you don’t want to get up, that’s going to be infiltrated by the sounds of the music,” explains fitness expert Stephanie Mansour.
Beyond motivating you to start moving, music can also encourage you to hit new fitness goals. Several studies have shown that listening to uptempo music can help people of various ages and weights walk at a faster pace and keep at it longer, which leads to more calories burned. “When you’re walking to a higher beat-per-minute song, you’re going to walk faster and with a little bit more power,” Mansour explains.
The fitness expert recommends:
- Those who want to boost their mood and get their heart pumping choose a song with 150 to 160 beats per minute. If you’re matching your stride to the pace of the song, 150 beats per minute will probably have you running. Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” and “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz both work here.
- For a power walk, choose songs with 125 to 135 beats per minute.
- And for a jog, go for tunes with 135 to 145 beats per minute.
- To stay safe while listening to music while walking outside, Mansour suggests listening with only one headphone so you can be aware of your surroundings.
- She says the most important thing to keep in mind when trying to motivate yourself to exercise is that doing a little, even if you don’t hit your original goal, is better than doing nothing at all. Mansour says, “Just start with one minute or five minutes and build your confidence so that you're proving to yourself that, ‘Hey, I said, I'm going to walk today. Even though I just walked for one minute, I still kept my commitment to myself.’”