First, a disclaimer, I work in radio, so I actually find myself listening to our stations often, we have six, that's one for any mood. But I also LOVE my mp3 player. When I really need to kick butt, this technology gives me that extra something to get it done.
When it comes to a player it doesn't matter the brand, get what you like and what is easy for you to use. Though there are a couple of must-have features: 1. Get one you can put in an arm band, nothing sucks more than having to make sure it doesn't fall off of your waist band or dropping it. 2. Make sure it has anti-skip technology. This may seem like a CD or album issue, but some low-end mp3 players can't take the jarring either. 3. Make sure it has enough memory. The only thing I would change about my player is that it only has 2G (gigabytes) of memory. It means I have to change out play lists as my taste adjusts. A 4G or 8G will make this less necessary for you.
When it comes to the music, I highly suggest a plethora of genres, beat levels and attitudes. My player hosts everything from Metallica to Michael Buble and Garth Brooks to Bon Jovi, with Ricky Martin, Bette Midler and Joe Cocker thrown in. That's just a peek at my tunes, but as you can tell, I have a host of moods.
That's just it, some days you are ready to workout out and your favorite group (mine's Bon Jovi) will do it. Other days you need a fast beat to help push your pulse so cardio seems appealing - Ricky Martin, Shakira, Lady Gaga. When it comes to weights, give me some Metallica, Nickelback, Three Doors Down - I need a little anger with my weights. When it's time to cool down, I am likely to put on Michael Buble, Tony Bennett or I even have a little Bach set aside.
All of the above is personalized and I believe nothing is more motivating than catching an earful of your favorites. That said, some people just want a certain number of beats per minute - if you have ever been to a bike spinning class, you know what I mean. They throw an added fast back beat into every song during the class. It has been scientifically proven that people try to keep up with a beat when they hear it, no rhythm needed. It's not always conscious, but it will get your heart rate up. You can test this theory without even exercising - put on a song with a driving beat and see if you don't find yourself increasing in attention and energy. (Yes, this can help to keep you awake at work too, I do it all the time.)
If you are feeling a little lost, "Where do I get all of this music?", I can help. Here is a list of resources for your tunes:
- Start with your personal collection. You can put the CDs in your computer and download (or 'rip') the songs onto your hard drive for loading onto your player.
- Have a friend with an amazing CD or mp3 collection? Ask them to share - it's just one copy and neither of you are going to make money on the deal, so it's o.k.
- Shop online. In 2010 we have the choice of only buying the songs from an album that we really want. While I still buy the full album every time Bon Jovi puts out a new disc, I only want a handful of Beyonce.
- Amazon, iTunes, MySpace and Rhapsody are all safe choices.
- Lost on what has the right beat or attitude, there are a number of websites that offer playlists and guidance.
Hopefully this helps get you started on creating the playlists so perfect, you will want to workout just to hear them. That's another tip, other than yard work (which is a workout too) I rarely listen to my mp3 for that exact reason - if I want to hear those cool songs, I need to be sweating. :)
Tomorrow - What Should I Wear?
Yours in Health,