Why music is the ultimate workout gear

Grab your dumbbells and turn up the speakers

When we talk about workout gear, what usually comes to mind are dumbbells, jump ropes, treadmills and yoga mats. Rarely do people immediately think of music, but I beg to differ.

I’m the type of person who determines the extent of my workout through the number of songs I’ve played. Did I finish two albums from my favorite K-Pop group? Great, that means I’ve jogged for an hour around my village already. Have I played seven songs already? Okay, it’s time to take a short break from the treadmill. 

It’s time to grab your dumbbells from Toby’s Sports and start working out

According to experts, music makes an effective pair with exercise because it distracts us from pain and fatigue. After all, it’s easier to forget about the burning sensation in our core when we’re bopping to our favorite song. It can also increase our stamina and brighten our mood, energizing us more as we brave through grueling sets of squats and planks.

But there are two things we must pay attention to when curating our workout playlist. First, tempo, which is important in helping set our pace, and then rhythm response to stimulate our bodies to move along to the music. Given these elements, fast and high-energy songs aren’t automatically the best songs for every type of exercise (yoga says hi!)

Roll out your yoga mat from Toby’s Sports

So, how do you create the best workout playlist? We’ve got some tips.

Beats-per-minute is your friend

Wear the appropriate exercise attire like this rash guard from Arena if you plan on swimming

According to research, songs with around 170 beats-per-minute (BPM) are perfect for brisk walking, running, biking and swimming. These high-tempo songs include some of your favorite Top 40 hits and even a few “Glee” covers. Most pop songs also average 116 BPM, and as long as the melody doesn’t have a lot of breaks or sudden beat changes, these tracks should be fine for low-impact exercise.

Strengthen your wrists and forearm muscles with hand grips from Sporthouse

And don’t worry about your phone dying in the middle of your workout—Samsung Galaxy A51 can last an average of two days with its 4,000mAh battery.

Playing music on your phone all day is not a problem with Samsung Galaxy A51, which you can get from BSD International

Pick motivational songs

Trust us, your favorite songs will help you face the burn from a core workout using this  SKLZ Core Wheel from Chris Sports

This goes without saying, but listening to lyrics that encourage you to keep going does help give you strength in powering through a tedious workout. The emotions and messages that we hear influence our mood, which makes happy and positive songs the best background music when exercising. “Lyrics can reinforce the fitness goals we are striving towards, and assist us in our physical endeavors,” experts say.

But hey, if aggressive and angsty songs motivate you more, then that also works. Spite can sometimes be an effective motivation, after all.

Have different types of songs for each routine portion

Warm up with jumping ropes from Chris Sports

Your workout routine is divided into different portions: warm-up, the exercise itself and cool-down. The music you play should correspond to each since the movements for each of these require different kinds of tempo. 

You might not want to go all-out during warm-up by playing high-tempo music right away. Instead, prep yourself by filling your playlist with more relaxed yet still upbeat songs. And like yoga, match your routine’s cool-down portion with tranquil tunes. According to research, listening to slow-tempo music after exercising can accelerate a person’s recovery rate back to resting levels. 

Get a smartphone with big storage space like the Oppo A12 from Audionet

Make sure to download all songs on your workout playlist or at least have enough phone memory for streaming apps, especially if your routine requires you to spend more time at the gym or outdoors. Oppo A12 has either a 32GB and 64GB storage space, and it’s even expandable up to 256GB, which means you can save as many tunes as you need for your workout. 

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