If you’re anything like me, your go-to workout is definitely not running. More power to you if you can wake up at 5am and hit the Katy Trail, but many of us cannot find that strength within us on a cold Tuesday morning in January. However, a good run can make you feel strong, exhilarated and give you a boost for the rest of your day. So, what can convince us to pull ourselves on that treadmill and amp up the speed? The answer is music.

Behind the Lyrics…

Music resonates with people in many ways. Whether it’s the genre, the lyrics, the melody or the artist, everyone has their musical likes and dislikes that are individualized to them. One component of music that often goes overlooked are songs beats per minute (BPM). Although it seems pretty self-explanatory, BPM indicates the number of beats in one minute. If you’ve ever taken a CPR course or watched the CPR training episode of “The Office” this may be a familiar term.

Stress Relief "The Office"
Stress Relief "The Office" Photo credit: The Office

Keep the Beat…

Before a workout, it’s pretty common to throw in some earbuds and jam to some Drake, Kanye or any other rap artist of your liking. But why rap? Why don’t we throw on some Ed Sheeran to get our blood pumping? The answer is BPM. According to Harvard Health, our heart rate naturally increases and decreases according to the beat of the music we listen to. Therefore, listening to fast-paced music during a workout causes your heart rate to increase and allows it to successfully endure a run. Everyone has their own taste, but if you can happily run a mile while listening to rain sounds, I am seriously impressed.

Finding your BPM…

Have you ever noticed that your workout seems easier when you like the music you’re listening to? The next time you’re on a jog and you find a specific song that seems to make your run easier, make a note of it. It is likely that the song’s BPM is the same beat at which you are running. For example, on the treadmill, if you are running at a speed of 7.0 mph with an incline of 3.0, the BPM that correlates with this speed is 160-170 BPM. Listening to music that has this BPM allows your heart rate to increase and your feet to land with the same rhythm as the song making your run seem easier. Songs with 160-170 BPM include “STAY” by The Kid LAROI, “POWER” by Kanye West, and “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift.

Side note for those who refuse to run, the TikTok famous 12-3-30 incline walk has a BPM of 120-130 BPM. Songs that correlate with this beat are “Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull, “Bad and Boujee” by Migos, and “Forever & Always” by Taylor Swift. Thank me later.

Playlist for a 13-3.5-30 Incline Walk
Playlist for a 13-3.5-30 Incline Walk Photo credit: Lizzie Sexton

I’m sure your workout playlist is already elite, but please consider adding some songs that will help you run to the beat of your own drum. There are also so many Spotify playlists with BPM specific songs! Give them a listen. This way the next time you’re hitting the Katy Trail, commuting to Equinox, or visiting Dedman, you can make the most of your workout. Go find your beat!

Playlist for 160-170 BPM Run
Playlist for 160-170 BPM Run Photo credit: Lizzie Sexton
Lizzie Sexton

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