By ARIEL HERNANDEZ
For many people, listening to music is part and parcel of working out. When you drop by the gym, most people using the exercise machines are typically equipped with earbuds.
But have you ever forgone a gym day because you lost your headphones or left them at home?
According to Promax Nutrition, a protein-bar manufacturer and blog, music acts as a stimulant, but also distracts from the physical exertion involved in working out.
When listening to music, you take your mind off the actual workout and physical strain. The music also releases dopamine and opioids, allowing you to feel good and raise your pain threshold.
Depending on the tempo of the music, the part of your brain that controls movement becomes stimulated, helping your muscles to move more efficiently. The music can also help to increase your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, increase your metabolism and energy efficiency, reduce physical and mental stress, and alleviate fatigue during your workout.
According to Robert Sewak, PD, the author of Striking the Right Chord With the Music You Choose, “A simple tempo change in music causes the respiration rate to change.”
“The sound waves of music enter your ears and turn into pulses or vibrations, which travel to the nerves in the brain,” said Sewak. “The pulses influence the brain, which then translates to the body’s movement.”
The Queens Tribune perused various lists of the top songs for working out, and then compiled a list of five songs that were consistently on every list.
1. “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor
The 1982 hit has long been on every workout list. Considering that scientific studies show that music with upbeat tempos enhances performance, it’s a no-brainer that this rock anthem is number one. “Eye of the Tiger” became a popular motivational song after Rocky III.
2. “Lose Yourself” by Eminem
This 2002 Grammy Award-winning hip-hop song debuted in the biographical Eminem movie 8 Mile. The intensity of the beat in the intro of the song is what makes it the perfect go-to when hitting the treadmill or elliptical, or while weightlifting. The song gets your endorphins racing faster once the hook drops and you feel the aggressiveness of the lyrics.
3. “Remember the Name” by Fort Minor
This 2005 hip-hop song’s opening line makes it a self-explanatory workout tune: “This is 10 percent luck, 20 percent skill, 15 percent concentrated power of will.” The song is about putting all of your energy and power into getting what you want. Not only does the beat cause your body to follow, but the lyrics are all the motivation you’ll need.
4. “Master of Puppets” by Metallica
This 1986 metal song by Metallica is over eight minutes long, and is made up of hardcore drumming and ripping guitar chords. It will definitely give you the push you need to get through those burpees or cycling.
5. “Levels” by Avicii
If you’re an electronic-music lover, you’re probably familiar with the legendary Avicii. Like all of his songs, “Levels” will get your body moving in all sorts of directions and put you in a happy mood. “Levels” has been played in almost every Zumba class around the world since its debut in 2011.
My go-to workout song is Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud.” The beat gets your body moving, while the lyrics encourage you to live your life the way you want. I like to end my workout with a cooldown to this song. You could either run in place, jog or do some jumping jacks and end with a dance-off by yourself or with a friend. It doesn’t matter; just let yourself go and have fun.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x 144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.