You wake up, filled with the overwhelming desire to sleep in just a few minutes longer and skip your workout for the day. The sheets are warm, the morning sun is filtering through half-open blinds, creating a drowsy atmosphere that doesn’t exactly promote exercise.
So what’s the secret to awakening that motivation to shake off your lazy attitude and get moving?
While you may have a morning routine that encourages you to work out — a healthy green smoothie, a cold shower, maybe even catching sight of that developing muffin top in the mirror — have you ever thought about using music to give yourself that extra kick in the pants?
Music stimulates all sorts of moods and generates different responses within the human body. Soft jazz may create the perfect setting for a romantic dinner with your spouse or partner, some cheery pop can lift your spirits after a rough day, different beats and rhythms create different effects with emotional and physical stirrings. Music that encourages exercise engages the sympathetic nervous system, a function of the body that tells all systems to get ready for some challenge to come. The heart starts pumping faster, pushing blood to all ends of the body, you start breathing a little better and your muscles tense in anticipation.
Not only does it motivate you to get started, music also helps to keep you motivated, which is a vital part of exercise. When your limbs become the consistency of rubber and you start to dwell on the abject unpleasantness of your current situation, the pulsing thrum of a strong beat can push you a little bit harder. It synchronizes your brainwaves and matches your movement to the beat of the music.
Fast-paced, interesting music can keep you distracted from the negative aspects of the task at hand. It draws attention away from your burning muscles and diminishing lung capacity, while fighting the negative signals that your lazy brain is sending, trying to get you to give up. Upbeat music encourages you to think more positively about your workout, while giving you a boost of energy.
Now that we’ve established the multitude of benefits found in using music as another piece of workout equipment, it’s time to find the best possible type of music to get moving and keep that movement going.
Plan a workout playlist filled with songs that you love, upbeat rhythms that have a consistent beat, or music interesting enough to keep you distracted. The next time you set out to exercise, use your tunes to give yourself (brain and body) an amazing energy boost. It may be just what you need to lace up those sneakers, pick up your weights, or even just do a few sit-ups.
What is your favorite workout song? Let us know for your chance to win a free bag of Lucy’s Bru Organic Coffee.
Taylor lives in the mountains of Arizona where she enjoys an active lifestyle including hiking, horseback riding, kayaking and backpacking. She is a Certified Wilderness First Responder and spends a great deal of time educating others on how to enjoy the wilderness safely. An avid reader, writer, photographer and blogger, Taylor believes that being active and spending time in nature are essential to good health.