How To Create The Perfect Workout Playlist (According To Science)

How To Create The Perfect Workout Playlist (According To Science)

click photo for more information
How To Create The Perfect Workout Playlist (According To Science)
Harder, better, faster, stronger. View this image › Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed If you’ve ever struggled through a silent workout because you left your headphones at home or felt a surge of energy when your favorite song comes on, you know that, when it comes to exercise, music matters. Fox Focus Features   Research has […]

Harder, better, faster, stronger.

Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

If you’ve ever struggled through a silent workout because you left your headphones at home or felt a surge of energy when your favorite song comes on, you know that, when it comes to exercise, music matters.

Fox

Focus Features

 

Research has shown that listening to music while you work out can elevate mood and make exercise seem easier. One study even suggested that it may help moderate exercisers work harder.

Star Trac Fitness / Via youtube.com

The effects are so pronounced that when Dr. Costas Karageorghis, a leading expert on the psychology of exercise music, reviewed the research in 2012, he wrote that music could be thought of as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”

Building a scientifically sound workout playlist, however, requires more than just setting your iPod to shuffle and pressing play.

Shaft / Via giphy.com

Here’s how to do it in just three easy steps:

1. Decide if you want to move in time with the music.

There is some disagreement about the benefits of using music synchronously during exercise — some studies say it improves efficiency, others say it makes no difference. Either way, there are plenty of people who like to move with their music. It’s particularly useful when you’re doing cardio (running, elliptical, cycling, etc.).

If you’re a runner who’d like to try synchronous running, start by determining your stride rate. That sounds complicated but all you need to do is count your steps for a minute while running at a comfortable pace. If you want to be fancy, do it several times and average the results. Once you’ve found your stride rate, you need to find music with a comparable number of beats per minute (BPM). For example, if you take 150 steps per minute, you’ll want to listen to music with approximately 150 BPM.

Don’t know the BPM of your favorite tunes? There are plenty of sites that can help! You can look up the BPM of almost any song using SongBPM.com or, if you’d prefer to search by speed instead of song, Jog.fm has a large database of popular songs organized by BPM. The app RockMyRun is another great resource.

If this sounds like a lot of work — don’t worry. You’ll still get a boost even if you don’t sync your movements to the music.

2. Opt for tunes with a strong, energizing rhythm, uplifting melodies, and inspirational lyrics.

There’s a reason fitness playlists are light on the Elliott Smith — you’re more likely to push yourself if the music you’re listening to is upbeat and energetic. Shocking, I know. While what qualifies as “upbeat and energetic” varies from person to person, the criteria for a scientifically sound workout jam do not. According to a 2011 study, here’s what you should listen for when assembling your playlist:

A strong, energizing rhythm: In order for a song to be properly motivating, it needs to be “up-tempo (> 120 bpm) and possess prominent percussive and rhythmical features.” If you are not using music synchronously, opt for music with a BPM between 120 and 145. Faster tempos do not appear to improve performance or motivation. If you can match rhythm of a song to the approximate movement patterns of your exercise, that also helps.

Mood-boosting melody and lyrics: Making you feel good about yourself is one of the ways music is most helpful during a workout, which is why you should choose tunes that promote “motivational imagery and self-talk.” While there hasn’t been a lot of research into the role lyrics play in inspiring exercisers, researchers believe songs that feature “affirmations of exercise or inspirational references drawn from popular culture” are particularly effective. Think “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift or “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.

3. Structure your playlists like your workout.

Pixar

Pixar

 

You don’t start your workout at a sprint, so don’t start your playlists that way. According to a 2011 study, “music tempo should be selected with the expected exercise intensity in mind, and be sequenced to contour in accordance with changes in heart rate.” Gradually increasing the BPM as your heart rate increases will help you stay motivated, even if you’re not using music synchronously.

Additionally, research suggests you should pay attention to how your mix works as a whole. If you’re going to spend a half an hour on the treadmill, “consider the congruence of musical pieces that appear in close proximity ” and aim for cohesion. Abrupt changes in style or speed should be saved for transitions between exercises.

Finally, a quick word about safety.

Paramount Pictures / Via giphy.com

Don’t let listening to music distract you too much. Stay in tune with your body and environment. If your fitness playlist is going prevent you from hearing people or cars, turn it off. Surviving your workout is priority number one.

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/kelleydunlap/how-to-create-a-workout-playlist-according-to-science

8 Disgusting Facts About Ancient Rome That Will Make You Nauseous

click photo for more information
8 Disgusting Facts About Ancient Rome That Will Make You Nauseous
googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘VN_PG_DTBT_ATF’); }); Ancient Rome was a pretty amazing place. Between 753 BC and 476 AD, Romans were among the most technologically and culturally advanced people on Earth. Despite them forming the basis of modern society, Romans held a number of pretty insane beliefs and practices, at least by today’s standards. Here are a […]

The Only Thing More Beautiful Than Their Life Together Was Their Death Together.

click photo for more information
The Only Thing More Beautiful Than Their Life Together Was Their Death Together.
Jerry and Edith Dunn were a completely devoted couple for 63 years. They were born in the same year (1931), met in high school and were together ever since. They weren’t flowery or wildly romantic, but the connection they had was permanent. They were soul mates. Jerry and Edith spent 63 blissful years together. They […]

This Dog Is All Of Us When We Don’t Want To Go To The Gym

click photo for more information
This Dog Is All Of Us When We Don’t Want To Go To The Gym
Finding the motivation to go to the gym every week can be pretty much impossible. If you’re like me, you pretty much wake up exhausted and by day’s end, it only goes downhill from there. More often than not, I skip leg day altogether and find myself trying to find other healthy alternatives to make […]

Why Would A Gay Teenager Commit Hate Crimes Against Herself?

click photo for more information
Why Would A Gay Teenager Commit Hate Crimes Against Herself?
Ten years ago, a liberal San Francisco suburb was traumatized by a rash of hate crimes against a 17-year-old lesbian. But when it was revealed that the victim herself had staged the attacks, the entire community turned on her and she never spoke about the incidents publicly. Until now. View this image › Illustration by […]

She Never Knew Something So Seemingly Hopeless Could Turn Into Such Beauty

click photo for more information
She Never Knew Something So Seemingly Hopeless Could Turn Into Such Beauty
In Greek mythology, the Phoenix is known for creating new life out of the ashes from its previous death. So when one woman raised a nearly dead fish back to perfect health, she new exactly what to name him. The amazing story of Phoenix the Siamese fighting fish (a.k.a. a betta fish) will inspire you […]

This Reporter Didn’t Want To Do This TV Segment. It’s A REALLY Good Thing She Did.

click photo for more information
This Reporter Didn’t Want To Do This TV Segment. It’s A REALLY Good Thing She Did.
A cancer diagnosis is always a surprise. When ABC anchor Amy Robachs was asked to go get a mammogram for a TV segment, she was hesitant. She’d been putting off the procedure herself because of her busy schedule. She finally agreed… and it’s a good thing she did, because it saved a life. Her own. […]

6 Questions Lots Of People Disagree With Scientists About

click photo for more information
6 Questions Lots Of People Disagree With Scientists About
Most people support science overall. But there are some topics it seems we’ll never agree on. A poll of 2,002 adults released by Pew Research Center yesterday revealed that the American public, in general, support science and think it has made their lives easier. But despite this, the opinions of scientists and the rest of […]

Come back to Delhi immediately: LG Najeeb Jung to Manish Sisodia – Times of India

click photo for more information
Come back to Delhi immediately: LG Najeeb Jung to Manish Sisodia – Times of India
Manish Sisodia has drawn a lot of flak in the past few days for "holidaying" in Finland while Delhi is grappling with a health hazard — chikungunya and dengue outbreak. And now, according to Times Now, LG Najeeb Jung has issued a verbal order and summoned Manish Sisodia back to Delhi immediately. Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Come-back-to-Delhi-immediately-LG-Najeeb-Jung-to-Manish-Sisodia/articleshow/54369567.cms

These Topiary Creations Will Make Your Green Thumb Start To Itch.

click photo for more information
These Topiary Creations Will Make Your Green Thumb Start To Itch.
Gardening gets a bad rap as a tedious, boring recreation usually preferred by those entering their retirement phase of life. But the beauty of nature is something that should be appreciated by everyone! And these examples top notch topiary will convince you that there’s more to gardening than sunhats and weed pulling.  Take a look at these […]

He Grabbed Some Paint And Action Figures. What He Created With Them Is Incredible.

click photo for more information
He Grabbed Some Paint And Action Figures. What He Created With Them Is Incredible.
When it comes to mass-produced action figures, they can only resemble the character or actor they’re modeled after so much. While some definitely share a resemblance to the real person, none can compare to this man’s creations. Noel Cruz is a Filipino artist working in the U.S. who repaints dolls, transforming them into stunning works […]

These Disturbing Movies Have Some Even More Disturbing, And True, Stories Behind Them

click photo for more information
These Disturbing Movies Have Some Even More Disturbing, And True, Stories Behind Them
It’s spooky enough to learn that your favorite horror movies are based on urban legends, which might have a grain or two of truth behind them. Those kinds of movies make you start looking behind you in the dark and jumping when the phone rings. But there’s no real proof behind any of those legends. […]

Most People Wouldn’t Care About A Little Goldfish… But Not This Family.

click photo for more information
Most People Wouldn’t Care About A Little Goldfish… But Not This Family.
When your beloved pet—your pseudo child—gets sick, you’ll do just about anything to make it better. If it’s an emergency trip to the pet hospital, or surgery that costs thousands of dollars, there’s nothing you wouldn’t do for your furry friend. Usually this means saving the family dog, or even a cherished house cat. But […]

This Rare Beauty Is Named Sapphire

click photo for more information
This Rare Beauty Is Named Sapphire
Read more: http://www.ifunny.com//pictures/rare-beauty-named-sapphire/

He Walked Into This Hospital With A Guitar, And You’ll Melt When You See Why

click photo for more information
He Walked Into This Hospital With A Guitar, And You’ll Melt When You See Why
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who has never felt the emotional impact of music. Although this is a sensation we’ve all experienced, music therapy is often the subject of scorn from both mental health professionals and the general public. Even if you aren’t particularly moved by what’s on the radio these days, researchers have […]

You Could Spend A Ton On Store-Bought Lotion Bars, But Why Not Make Them Yourself?

click photo for more information
You Could Spend A Ton On Store-Bought Lotion Bars, But Why Not Make Them Yourself?
You’ve probably seen them in high-end beauty stores, snagged the tiny free sample, and made it last as long as humanly possible…yes, we’re talking about those delicious-smelling lotion bars. They last a long time and do wonders for your skin…then again, they’re so darn expensive! But don’t give up on the idea of an indulgent […]
More