- Life Style
In our fitness article last week, we discussed using music as a motivation to push one’s self to work out. Today we are taking a closer look at the way music can effect our training routine. Music can increase both the degree of enjoyability in training and the physical benefits of exercise.
Let’s take a look at five different songs to show how different musical characteristics can add to the value of a work out:
"Love The Way You Lie" -- Eminem ft. Rihanna
Released on Eminem’s latest album "Recovery" (2010), the song tells a sad story about a love/hate relationship between two abusive lovers who simultaneously can’t live without each other and can’t stand one another. I would spend hours in the gym working out while listening to this song and feel energized to workout more when it played.
It can, however, be of some harm to you.
“I got an injury last week while exercising,” a client told me once, while pointing to his arm. “I think I twisted my shoulder or something.” Although I tried to explain to him that there is no such a thing as twisting your shoulder and that he must have just strained his muscles, he didn’t listen. Whatever the injury, he was sure of the cause: music. “That song makes me really angry,” he said. “It makes me want to punch walls.”
Fact: The lyrics of a song can change the way you exercise; when a song tells a story, the way you feel about the story will be reflected in your energy during your workout. Pick songs that tell positive, powerful stories (think of Travie McCoy’s Billionaire) to avoid over-exercising and injuries.
Club Can’t Handle Me -- Flo Rida ft. David Guetta
This single was released on the soundtrack to the latest dancing flick "Step Up 3D" (2010). The song is described by Flo Rida as a "club anthem," and it was the song used by dancing schools around the US in a competition to create the perfect one-shoot choreography (a dance routine that lasts for the duration of the song and that is shot on a single camera without any editing).
What makes this song different is the fact that it’s a balanced mixture of up-tempo and low-tempo sections. The song starts with a slow beat for four measures and then doubles in speed for another four measures before retuning to the slow beat, and so on.
Fact: Interval training is an amazing fat-burning workout that consists of a balanced mixture of high speed cardio and low speed toning. Using balanced music like "Club Can't Handle Me" to accompany interval training helps set the mood and paces. Of course, this won't help you understand Flo Rida's nonsensical lyrics.
Highway to Hell -- AC/DC
"Highway to Hell" is the opening track to the 1979 AC/DC album of the same name, and it has been covered by over 20 performers including Maroon 5 and KISS; the original version is a milestone in rock and roll history.
The aggressive lyrics, harsh beats and heavy electric guitar might be considered by some to be bad for your body, but the energy provided by this song can help you work out hard to gain your goals and forget the naysayers.
Fact: Music has been proven to have an instant impact on the body. Your body reacts to loud voices and strong beats by releasing adrenaline, which makes your senses more acute and adds to the strength of your responses in general. Pick a rock song to your liking when you are planning on a heavy-lifting workout.
Keep Me Hangin’ On -- Kim Wilde
Although it is a 1966 number-one hit originally recorded by The Supremes, this song has been re-recorded by multiple performers including Rod Stewart, country singer Reba McEntire and the cast of the TV show "Glee." The most successful version, however, would be the 1987 release by Kim Wilde.
This cheesy but energetic song can help you put an end to treadmill rage. It can relieve some tension you might feel from a boring workout and help you feel less like you’re wasting time on the machine. As an added bonus, it might distract you from your work out by forcing you into a moment of self-mockery for listening to such songs.
Fact: Sometimes the music you choose is just about having fun during your routine.
Apologize -- One Republic ft. Timbaland
The good thing about this song, released on One Republic’s debut ablum "Dreaming Out Loud" (2006) and remixed by Timbaland for his "Shock Value" album in 2007, is the relaxing beat and voice of singer and songwriter Ryan Tedder.
I choose this song a lot as a cool down song for the end of my fitness classes. It lowers the blood pressure and heart rates of my clients, helping their bodies regain the right breathing rhythm of breathing and pulse.
Fact: Autonomic nervous system, which controls breathing and heart rate, can be altered by changes in music. This can mean slower breathing, slower heart rate and an activation of the relaxation response, among other things. Pick a slow song to be the last thing you hear as you finish your work out and stretch your muscles; it might help reduce any possible negative effects on your body.