Saturday, October 23, 2010

Five Favorites: Workout Music

Do you love hard pounding music pouring into your ears when you're sweating your butt off? If so... here are some great resources to find the perfect music for you!

Before I link you to a bunch of websites where you can find music, let me tell you about my music player. I know many people prefer their iPods - and that's fine - but I'm sort of an anti-Apple type of gal, so I went with a better system. LOL! I love my Sansa! I've got 16gb of space on the Fuze plus an SD slot for more storage if I need it. I can play videos and FM radio and record my grocery list (or Brain Dump List) while I'm walking if I need to. It's a great little music player and I love it!

But of course, any MP3 player will work for downloaded music. So choose your favorite device and run with it.

Now... on to the music!

DJ Steve creates workout mixes based on the pace of your walking or running speed. The music mixes last about 1 hour - so you listen to the same mix for your entire workout. All the mixes are based on Beats Per Minute ranging from 125bpm to 185bpm which matches your walking or running pace. So if you walk 4 miles per hour, you'd download and listen to Podrunner mixes with 140bpm. He also has some cool Interval Training mixes which helps you train for your first 5k, 8k or 10k races (sort of like the Couch to 5K program). I have several mixes loaded onto my Sansa that I use during 5k races.

Best Workout Music
I love this search engine for music! Similar to the Podrunner system, the songs in this database are sorted based on their beats per minute to match your pace. The difference is that you're not getting pre-engineered mixes, you are directed to popular/current songs that already match this pace. You can choose the genre of songs you prefer (rock, country, hip hop, jazz) and then a link is provided to Amazon so you can buy the song immediately.  Explore the website a bit too - there are a couple free software programs you can use to alter your favorite songs to match the BPM you need or to scan a song you own to see how many BPM it has. You can also download pre-designed playlists that others have put together.

Couch to 5k
As I mentioned above, this program is great for beginners who want to learn how to run their first 5k race. You start out with a run-walk system where you run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds... then gradually increase your running interval until eventually you're running an entire 5k without walk breaks. There's an entire community built around this program with message boards, blogs and clubs to join. Cool Running is a great website for runners (and walkers) - check out their training page for lots of great tips no matter what distance you're going.

Pandora Internet Radio
Many music players and Smartphones (like my Palm Pre) have the ability to access the Internet... or have apps for Pandora. You can build a custom radio station based on your favorite music for workouts or anything else in your life. I've got lots of stations built for various occassions and often have Pandora playing when I'm at work or at home working on the computer. I can also bring up my Pandora app on my phone and connect my phone to my car radio and let it play through my speakers. Ooo... so high-tech, huh? Anyway, Pandora is great and it's free!

Amazon Music
Did you know that Amazon has a huge MP3 music store? You can buy anything on Amazon! You can either search for your favorite songs to download directly, or do a search for a keyword like "Exercise" and get lots of suggestions for albums and individuals songs. There are even companies who only sell workout music (like My Fitness Music). The reason I like Amazon Music so much is because the songs you download are put right onto your computer and you can do whatever you want with them - burn a CD, add to a music player, play on your computer, create a playlist, whatever. I can even access the Amazon store from my phone and download while mobile! Plus, the prices are great!

Bonus #6

I can't just leave this one off because I don't like Apple, right? So I'm including a link for those who have iPods. iTunes requires you to download their software and install it on your computer - then you can access your account from that software. (This is one of the main reasons I don't like iTunes - I regularly access the internet from 4 different computers, so having iTunes installed everywhere isn't convenient or practical for my uses.) There are millions of songs, podcasts, videos and everything else on iTunes. You can share playlists with other users or create your own. I don't buy my music here, but I do enjoy access to lots of free podcasts on various topics (mostly graphic design right now).

Go play some music!  Go sweat your butt off!  Have fun!


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