Music is a powerful influence in our lives. It is the backdrop to everybody's life story. All of life's biggest experiences are done to the sound of music. If you strung the songs all together, you would have your complete life story. Imagine what kind of emotions listening to that CD would bring up!
Remember slow dancing at prom or with your partner, for the first time? What about grooving with your friends on your first spring break vacation?
My whole life has been inspired by music. I still feel the excitement of the very first time I took ballet class, at the age of three, and the satisfaction I got from many years of voice lessons, perfecting my craft.
Music and dance are pure soul food, rekindling the free spirit in all of us, breaking down inhibitions and releasing a sense of well-being. After a hard, stressful day it's amazing how music relaxes the body and drains tension.
Everyday, my two kids and I groove away. Laughter fills the house with love, and the sound of their happiness at being allowed to freely express themselves. Music has the rare ability to bring the child out in you, allowing you to be on the same level with them. It also teaches your kids, from a young age, that moving their bodies is fun and exhilarating.
Everyday I use music to motivate my clients to exercise and reach their goals. If the workout is a little challenging for them, somehow the music can dull the pain and give them energy to finish their workout.
Below is a workout I designed to help you feel the groove! Remember, every minute counts so if you can only get away for 10 or 15 minutes that's OK. Don't blow it off. Get your tunes out, and off you go!
Tips on using music for motivation and keeping your cardio workouts fresh:
- Download, or burn, your favorite songs for the time-duration of your workout. I recommend between 25-45 minutes, depending on your fitness level and experience.
- Vary the beats of the songs. For example, Song One is your warm-up so choose a mid-tempo song.
- Our bodies naturally gravitate to the beat of the music so keep that in mind when selecting the music.
Below is a sample of a cardio workout:
Exertion scale of 1-10 (1 is the easiest and 10 is the hardest)
Each song is approximately 3 or 4 minutes
Warm-up: Mid-tempo 3 songs or 9-10 min. Exertion scale: 6 - 7.5
Interval: Up-tempo (increase pace by 10 %) 1 song, 3-4 min. Exertion scale: 8.5
Interval: Mid-tempo (lower pace to warm-up) 2-3 songs, 6-12 min. Exertion scale: 7
Interval: Up-tempo (increasing pace10%) 1 song, 3-4 min. Exertion scale: 8.5
Cool down: Mid-tempo (lower pace gradually) 2 songs, 6-7 min. Exertion scale: 5
(If you feel any nausea or shortness of breath please stop and rest. Always consult a physician before starting an exercise program)
Music has probably played a bigger role in your life than you realize. If you've had a hard day and feel tired, blast some tunes and you'll be amazed how much energy it'll give you, stimulating your emotions, creativity and even shaping you and your family's identity. Try it, it really does work!
By Tracey Mallett
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