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5 Reasons Workout Music Is Your Secret to Sweat Success

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    Workout Music Helps You Pace Yourself

    For maximum benefit, each song's beats per minute, or BPMs, should match your desired speed and heart rate, says the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. "Synchronized music tends to drive exercise intensity," Crockford says. Follow this cheat sheet for music that matches your motion:

    • Running: 150-180 BPMs (“Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift, feat. Kendrick Lamar)
    • Power walking: 137-139 BPMs (“Run” by AWOLNATION)
    • Cycling: 135-170 BPMs (“This is War” by Thirty Seconds to Mars)
    • Yoga/Pilates: 70-110 BPMs (“Don’t Wanna Fight” by Alabama Shakes)
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    Workout Music Boosts Endurance

    Feeling winded? Flip on a dancy tune. Each step, pedal stroke or rep will feel easier thanks the the built-in distraction. Surprisingly, "this is more important for bikers than runners, research has found," Crockford adds. A prominent workout music researcher, Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., from London's Brunel University School of Sport and Education, takes it one step further in an interview with ACE: "Music is like is a legal drug for athletes."

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    Workout Music Makes Exercise Feel Easier

    Stick those headphones in and you'll be able to work harder, but not feel like you are, says research published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. (This is true whether you're lifting, stretching or doing cardio.) Your favorite upbeat music is better at this than a comedy routine, slow jams or the sound of waves crashing, says a study from the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation.

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    Workout Music Helps You Find Your Groove

    "It's proven that music increases your desire to move rather than to sit," Crockford says. "I like to have a playlist that I can just turn on and listen to, without having to change the songs, since that can get me out of the groove. Mashup albums that last 30-50 minutes (like this one) are great for that!"

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    Workout Music Is Therapy

    "Mellow music increases relaxation and clears your mind so you can focus on postures and muscle contractions in yoga and Pilates," Crockford says. Flip on a slower-paced tune (we like "Cherry Wine" by Hozier at 103 beats per minute) and think of your practice as active meditation. It's almost like magic: Music has been shown to help people cope with pain and connect with emotions, according to a Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services study.