Moving and Grooving Into May
As we move into another month — and another exciting challenge — I thought now would be the perfect time to set you up for success with a playlist that helps lift your energy, reduce your stress, and inspire you to get moving.
You can access my personal Spotify playlist here so you can play it in the background during each of our workouts together! I update them monthly, so be sure to continue to press play and shuffle through the next time you’re about to start a sweat session.
Whether you’re a fan of country or rap, Mumford and Sons or Lana Del Rey, the one thing we can all agree on is life would be a lot less fulfilling without music. And to be honest, I believe the same to be true when it comes to workouts. Stepping onto my mat for some core training or getting outside for a jog would be flat out boring if it weren’t for a carefully curated playlist that keeps me feeling motivated until the very last second.
There’s a lot to be said about a playlist that makes you feel like you can accomplish anything...
Not only has listening to music been scientifically proven to help reduce stress and improve your focus during a workout, it can even increase your stamina.
A 2019 study published in the Psychology of Sport & Exercise journal found that upbeat music can actually help give you the motivation you need to tackle high-intensity workouts.
If you don’t usually have music on in the background during your workouts, why not try it out and see if it gives you that extra boost you’re looking for?
Keep in mind that just like music tastes vary outside of the fitness world, the same goes for your music taste when it comes to getting pumped up. Different types of music will indeed strike different types of motivational chords when it comes to putting on your workout playlist. This definitely isn’t a “one size fits all” situation, so create a playlist that works for you and with you.
Researchers found that listening to upbeat, motivational music had participants' heart rates and peak power output soaring through the roof, compared to listening to something like a podcast or nothing at all.
This one comes as no surprise to me, but participants even reported actually enjoying their workout more with music than they did without! But why is that?
According to the same study, it comes down to a combination of psychological and physiological factors.
Psychologically, music tempo, lyrics and rhythm all work together to create an emotional response. Kind of like when you hear “Eye of the Tiger” and all you can think about is Rocky Balboa on a set of stairs in Philadelphia.
Physiologically, your brain tends to actually synchronize with music! This is a concept called “entrainment”, and explains the participants’ increased heart rate. It also explains why in a spin class it can feel so easy to fall into the rhythm of the song with each stride.
Think of it as a state of flow: a zone where you’re fully focused on your goal and nothing will distract you from what you’re doing at that moment.
That’s when a workout feels best, isn’t it? When you visit a completely different dimension as soon as you start to lift, bend, twist and crunch, you know you’re in for a rewarding session.