Thursday, May 30, 2013

pump up the jam...pump it up!

i am a music junkie.  addict.  snob.  you name it...if it's music, i'm in.  especially at the gym.  holy cow do i love it at the gym.  not only does a steady beat help keep a good lifting or running rhythm, but sometimes the lyrics keep me going, too.  i specifically chose the songs on my "gym" playlist for this purpose and am known to drum on my thighs between sets and walk around mouthing songs by rage against the machine, skrillex, ellie goulding, and swedish house mafia...among others.

i know what works for me, music-wise, when working out, but here are a few tips you can use if you want to start bobbing your head to the beat along with me.

make sure the music you pick is stuff you actually want to hear.  you don't have to pick the songs i listen to, that noisy racket your kids are blaring, or the songs on that list over there.  if you draw energy and motivation from country, classical, soul, gospel, or death metal...go for it!  studies have shown that working out with music can improve your mental acuity when you train.  it can also have the positive effect of helping you to train longer and harder by allowing you to concentrate on the rhythm of your workout rather than on the difficulty of your exercises.  so, if you're going to wind up training longer, make the music enjoyable and fun!

change up your mix.  it's easy to listen to an entire album from your favorite artist, but knowing every beat, word and tempo of the songs you listen to during a workout can reduce your drive to push yourself to run further or lift more weights.  don't let predictability sabotage your workout so make sure you're changing out the tracks or even the type of music you listen to.  try listening to the radio on your smartphone or mp3 player.  the constant guessing of which type of song will play next will keep your mind active.

create playlists that slowly decrease in tempo as to assist in creating a full and proper cool down period for your workout.  soothing music can help your mind and body relax after a strenuous workout.

play it safe when training with music.  did you know that music devices are often restricted from use in running events because they have the potential to place you in harms way, such as in the path of a car, bicyclist. or other runners?  zoning out to your favorite tunes while out running the streets can turn into a dangerous experience.  pay attention to your surroundings and things like stoplights, sidewalks, and street signs.  speaking from experience and almost getting hit by a texting driver, i'm glad i abide by my running rule and only have my earbud in one ear.  with music only partially distracting me and dulling my other senses so much, i'm definitely more aware.

eat clean.  live lean.  live better.  live longer.

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