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Let's start the working week with a Moral Monday.
Do you exercise to music?
After a lifetime of avoiding any more than the minimum amount of exercise I needed to do to get where I needed to go, I have lately been doing a daily walking routine. I have worked myself up to 5000 steps a day, which may not sound like much since all the fitness people tell you to walk 10,000 steps a day, but there are people my size who don't even walk 500 steps a day, so I figure I am getting ahead of the game.
I walked on neighborhood streets until it got cold and then I broke down and joined a gym. I joined in early January with all the other folks making their New Year's resolutions, but there are still a handful of people who joined about the same time as I did who are still showing up on a regular basis. We give each other encouraging looks and high fives.
It's boring to exercise on machines, so there is a bank of 20 televisions along the far wall. The only problem is that the shows they have on TV at the gym are boring. I never realized how unusual my TV habits were until I was forced to watch mass market TV with a hundred other people half my age.
MTV? Srsly? Keeping up with the Kardashians? Dancing with the Stars? Two Broke Girls??? Food Network is on all the time too, which seems counterproductive for a gym. Sometimes I get by with watching CNN, but you know how their bias can drive a liberal crazy.
Sometimes I would recite my evening prayers, or go over lists of things I had to do, anything to keep my mind occupied while the 45 minutes clicked by step after step after step.
Then dawn broke over Marblehead and duh! I realized I should walk to music.
Exercising to music has been a big deal in the culture at large ever since aerobics classes first became the rage. But back when Let's Get Physical was the hit tune on all the workout tapes, I swore I would never get involved in a fitness program that required me to listen to pop dreck. Picking out my own music never occurred to me.
My walking pace is about 100 steps per minute, which is fortunate because a lot of popular music is set at 100 beats per minute. There must be something special about that pace because a whole lot of songs are right in that same sweet spot.
Walking to a beat is so much easier. With my list of 100 bpm songs the workout flies by. It's almost like dancing. In fact, sometimes I know I am bopping my head and playing air drums in a way that would be comical if anyone were watching me.
Fortunately everyone is focused on him or herself--eyes face forward at the bank of TVs, or eyes down at the counter on the machine watching the seconds and minutes and steps and miles and heart rates.
And with my playlist I always know where I am in the workout--how far I still have to go in time or distance. These are songs I like a whole lot so I probably won't get tired of them for a while, but if I do, I found several websites with songs ranked by beats per minute so that I can switch in some replacements and keep it fresh. I can also use this website to check a favorite song to see how close it is to 100bpm.
Now I have my own version of "Sweating to the Oldies"! My current list, in order, is in the start up soundtrack below.
Eminence Front—a mindless repetitive way to just get started. The only problem is that every time the car commercial featuring that song comes on I feel like I am supposed to get up and start walking!
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You—sometimes I feel I am singing about holding on to faith in myself.
Ain't Nobody—great dance tune I can't get enough of, and little bit wishful thinking :-D
Higher Love—more exercise and wishful thinking at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone, or baking two cakes in the same oven as the new non-violent metaphor would say.
Suit and Tie remix—actually a little bit faster than 100bpm, so by this time I am sweating and watching my heart rate closely.
Lose Yourself to Dance—if I am getting tired or my back is starting to hurt, this one keeps pushing me with "come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on come on..."
Stayin Alive—anyone who remembers the iconic opening scene of Saturday Night Fever already associates this song with walking. Besides, I am trying to think of my fitness as a matter of life and death, so singing along with "ah, ah, ah, ah, stayin alive, stayin alive" makes form follow content.
Usually Stayin Alive puts me over the 5000 mark if I have done some walking before I get to the treadmill. If not, I continue through Beast of Burden and Put Your Records On either in time to the music or slower for a cool down period.
Do you walk or run or exercise to music? Do you have favorite songs to work out to? How do you select those songs? Is there a song you work out with now (or otherwise associate with exercise) so that just hearing it makes you break out in a sweat?
Do you have music to exercise by?
start up soundtrack