Study: Music improves workouts, plus a Coachella-inspired playlist
Who doesn’t love a good mixed tape — or “playlist” as the kids call it these days? Your favorite musicians can be your own personal cheerleaders, with their beats and lyrics helping you keep up a respectable pace on your run or stay motivated when completing a weight-lifting circuit.
The American Council on Exercise sponsored research that explored the effects of music on working out, and guess what? It’s nothing new. Roman Galleys back in 300 B.C. recognized the benefits of moving to a tempo, with one man playing drums while the others rowed.
“Music is like a legal drug for athletes, In an article about the findings,” Costas Karageorghis of London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education, says in the study. “It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”
The council on exercise recommends songs with 147 to 169 beats per minute, or bpm, if you’re running, and 137 to 139 bmp if you’re power walking.
With Coachella approaching later this month, we’re taking the opportunity to craft a work-out playlist complete with music from artists who have rocked out in the California desert of Indio in years past. We’ve got a little bit of hip-hop and a little bit of rock to round out our list.
- Concrete Schoolyard from Jurassic 5. The alternative hip-hop group performed at Coachella in the festival’s early days, but then broke up in 2007. With a bpm of 90, this track is great for when you’re stretching and warming up.
- Intergalactic from Beastie Boys. Our favorite boy band performed at Coachella in 2003 along with Red Hot Chili Peppers. That year drew the biggest-ever crowd.
- Around the World from Red Hot Chili Peppers. This jam is ideal for intervals because of its speed-up, slow-down beat. The LA-bred rock band is scheduled to make a return to Coachella again this year.
- Izzo from Jay-Z. And if you tend to like rock, check out the version in which the Jiggaman collaborates with Linkin Park. This upbeat song is sure to keep you moving.
- Jesus Walks from Kanye West. You’ll feel like you’re boot camp with the marching drums playing in the background. Kanye headlined the 2011 festival.
- More from Usher. Most of his songs are true to R&B, thus not making them great work-out songs. This track is certainly an exception and is more in sync with the electronic and pop genre.
- Bad Girls from M.I.A. This song is on the soundtrack of The Heat, the new movie starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. It’s refreshingly different.
- Hungry Like the Wolf from Duran Duran. Go ahead and strap on a leotard and do some Jazzercise. This song topped Billboard charts in 1983, but is still a classic workout song. The English rock band last played at Coachella in 2011.
- Vogue from Madonna. With lyrics like “let your body move to the music,” and “you’re a superstar,” this obviously rounds out our playlist. Madonna performed at the music festival in 2006.
Photos courtesy of Coachella
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