• Heart-Pumping Music: The Asynchronous Playlist

    Posted on September 10, 2013 by Jessica Ryan in Exercise and Sports.


    This past weekend I spent my Saturday morning running the Montour Trail Half Marathon. I gave myself two challenges before the race: to beat my Pittsburgh Half Marathon time by five minutes and put together a half marathon playlist consisting solely of orchestral music.

    Classical probably isn’t the first genre that comes to mind when you hear the words “exercise music,” but research shows that you may want to add some classical music to your workout. In addition to providing the same advantages of other types of exercise music, classical music can physically relax you. A recent Daily Mail article quotes Dr. Jack Lewis, a neuroscientist, as saying: “Energetic but not overly-fast classical music can be ideal in the gym. Not only does upbeat music increase speed, strength, and endurance, but the relaxing qualities of classical music appear to reduce heart rate, blood pressure, and lower perceived exertion, at the same time.”[i]

    ""Because of this, we’re going to put together playlists of orchestral workout songs using principles discussed in our recent blog posts. This week we’re sharing my half marathon playlist on Spotify. It includes asynchronous exercise music, so all of the songs in the playlist have tempi between 125 and 140 BPM to match your target heart rate during a cardio workout. Next week we’ll share playlists that you can use to sync BPM to your rate of motion.

    This week’s playlist includes songs that I enjoy, and on Saturday I found the songs in it motivating enough to achieve my half marathon time goal. I encourage you to listen to the playlist and tailor it to fit your exercise goals and preferences. Add other songs you like, take out the music you don’t find motivating, and invite us to listen to your playlists in the comments section below!

    [i] Macrae, Fiona. “Why classical music can inspire you to exercise: Relaxing qualities can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.”  MailOnline.  Daily Mail,  20 Jan. 2013.  Web.  10 Sept. 2013.

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