Weekly Wellness: Getting into your workout groove

(Stephanie Young Merzel/Flickr Creative Commons)

A workout playlist is one thing that everyone who engages in any form of exercise can agree is essential. The type of music that we have on our personally customized playlists can range over many genres, but most of the time it’s fast-paced music with a good beat that is able to pump you up. Personally, I prefer rap or hip-hop music when working out, whether it be running or strength training, because it makes me feel more energized and motivated to get things done. Other people, however, sometimes enjoy rock or electronic music to get them in the exercising mindset. Some even listen to audiobooks or watch TV shows while working out. It truly depends on your mood in the moment, but there is also an element of psychology that goes into why we listen to what we listen to.

Scientists have recently studied why people listen to music while exercising and came up with some interestingly accurate results. It is said that music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates their mood, increases their endurance and might even speed up their metabolic rate. It is much more likely that someone will bike or run farther if they’re listening to music. This all plays into the distraction method. If you’re wrapped up in a song, you’re less likely to realize that you’re tired, hurting or going at the speed or distance you’re going.

When selecting workout music, we should consider the connotations that come along with those particular songs. If the singer is upbeat, it might make us feel more hyped up. If the song is attached to more negative emotional memories of yours, it’s probably not the best to add to the queue, even if it is upbeat.

Studies have shown that three of the most important factors that play into how we choose our music include tempo, speed and rhythm response, which is people’s physical responses to the music. It is proven that we automatically want to dance or move our bodies in some way when a song we like comes on, so it’s important that we choose these types of songs when we work out. In a survey of college students, 27 percent said they enjoyed listening to hip hop music when exercising. More people like higher intensity music for when they’re running on the treadmill because it makes them want to go faster and makes it feel easier to do so.

Some of the music I would personally recommend is from the rap or hip-hop genre. The Weeknd, Young Thug, Future, Migos, Cardi B and 21 Savage are usually my go-to artists when exercising, whether I’m running outside or at the gym. I know a lot of people who also enjoy rock and pop music because it has a good tempo or an uplifting connotation. One thing that I’ve learned throughout all my years of working out is that you want to make a playlist that you won’t want to skip through often. If you compile a bunch of songs that you know you won’t skip, you’ll be better off. Having to reach over during a run or when lifting to change the song and find one you want can be quite annoying, so make sure to delete all those extra songs that you find yourself skipping.


Tessa Pawlik is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at tessa.pawlik@uconn.edu.