Tuesday, October 18, 2016

60-Minute Playlist for Any Workout

Music can make or break a workout. If you are listening to the wrong playlist or station, it can distract you. Bad music can deplete your motivation. My taste in music varies greatly and depends largely on what I am doing. Lately, I've been relying on Pandora to make me music happy.

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But I can't use Pandora when I am teaching my group fitness classes. I'll admit—a good playlist is hard to put together, and the availability of literally everything on Pandora is appealing. But a group fitness playlist needs to compliment the workout AND please the attendees (and be 100% appropriate for the audience). This is hard to achieve with Pandora, at least from my perspective.

I currently teach Barre Fit, TRX, HIIT, Spinning and PiYO Live. I create a new Spinning playlist every week, songs for which are chosen based on their ability to dictate RPM. PiYO Live comes with it's own music, so I'm off the hook there. But the other three formats...I have the freedom to pick songs that literally just make people move (and hopefully smile, too).

We are currently jamming to a variety of new and old(ish) songs.
You might call this party music, and I'm OK with that:

I'd say this 60-minute playlist can motivate you through a wide variety of workouts. It ends with two slower songs, which will remind you to finish your workout with a cooldown and some stretching.

So far, no complaints from any of my students. If you're looking for new music for exercising, maybe this list will help you build your perfect playlist.

Question: What song is at the top of your workout playlist? Are there any songs that always, without fail, motivate you to move?

Saturday, October 8, 2016

5 Things To Do Before Every Workout

Think about your last workout. Was it great? Did it leave you less than sweaty and completely unsatisfied with the time you spent at the gym? Truth is, some workouts are better than others. This depends largely on your body and how it might be feeling that day. But there are, in fact, a few things you can do before every workout to set yourself up for a top-notch experience that targets your goals.

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1) Plan your workout in advance
If you sign up for a group fitness class or meet with a trainer, you can skip this tip. Your workout will be planned for you. However, if you go it alone, you should absolutely show up with a plan. This allows you to get right to it, moving from one exercise to another more efficiently while eliminating time spent deciding what to do or what comes next.

2) Eat and drink something.

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You don't drive your car when it's empty, do you? Gas up before your workout with a carb-based snack that your body can turn into much-needed energy. Drink plenty of water, too, so that you are well hydrated.

3) Gather your gear.

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From ear buds for music to the right kind of footwear and clothing—whatever you need, make sure it's ready to go. Nothing derails a workout quite like a missing pair of shoes. Time spent searching for gear is time waisted. Especially if your window for workouts is small.

4) Get excited.

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Exercise is fun, even when it's not. So mentally prepare yourself for the workout ahead of you. Remind yourself that you can, and that you will make a difference in your health with every last rep, mile or lap. A positive mental attitude translates to positive results, it's true.

5) Warm up. 
Every workout should start with a warm up. It's really the most important part of a sweat session because a warm body moves more efficiently. Just ten minutes of cardio can get the job done. Dynamic stretching is also effective, particularly for runners. Get your body moving, get your blood flowing, then call on your muscles to work hard.

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Again, not every workout will be perfect. Life has a funny way of surprising us with twists and turns that derail our best intentions. But when we stick to the basics, adapt as needed and prepare for the best...we truly set ourselves up for success in and out of the gym.

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Question: Are you ready for your next workout? What are somethings that you do before every workout to ensure sweaty success?


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