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Listen to music during exercise?

I still recommend listening to your body instead, but many people play music, and many have asked me for suggested playlists. Whatever the workout, you can listen to MAF Music!

You put in your MAF HR+ earbuds (currently with 25% off) to monitor your heart rate and begin working out. Are you doing it right?

Surveys show that for most people music is part of their exercise routine — no surprise in our current online-earbud society. Some can’t train without music, and it’s sometimes an obsession.

For a MAF workout, music can positively influence intensity, fat-burning, as well as encouraging overall brain and body benefits. However, it needs to be used intelligently. Best to avoid the stress-induced pounding drums and driving bass lines, unless you can relax on your walk with Nirvana. Otherwise, that’s something to save for downtime, or maybe for driving.

Consider songs that help promote warmups — slower, easy music allows your body to ease into the session, increasing the workout benefits. Likewise, with your cool down. For aerobic workouts, a more moderate beat is great, and for high intensity a faster song helps move you along. The most important music choice is always the music you enjoy. But consider that opera during high-intensity intervals, and heavy metal while walking might not be the best choices.

However, the choice. Personalize. Most importantly, always avoid junk music.

Unfortunately, like advertising jingles, many workout songs are like elevator music, or those sounds you’re stuck hearing while on phone hold — a type of musical format with little variation in rhythm, loudness and frequency. Much of that noise comes from a synthesizer, and is artificial. More importantly, junk music is known to promote negative thoughts.

Instead, go natural and listen to real music. (Some companies are finally doing this for those waiting on hold.)

When it comes to exercise, hearing certain songs could impair exercise and the metabolic effects you’re seeking. Specifically, revving yourself up with high-intensity music can lead to faster runs or reps, raise the heart rate, and reduce the amount of stored fat burned for energy.

While this no-pain, no-gain music can be enjoyable, be careful out there. If you want an aerobic workout to burn more fat and increase energy, listening to intense music can be problematic. Lower, rather than higher, heart rates do that better, and also reduce the risk of injury and even overtraining. Tone things down a bit for a workout that increases fat-burning and carries over to the rest of your day.

Advertisers have long known that music significantly affects our behavior, positively or negatively. It arouses us. More reasons why, when exercising with music, it’s important to personalize it — just like with the rest of our lifestyle. This means we choose our songs, ensuring a positive outcome not only for our mood but exercise benefits too.

Whether walking, running, cycling, at the gym or wherever, music is not meant to make you go faster, but help you feel good to enjoy the workout and burn more body fat. Of course, warmup and cooldown songs are part of the ideal playlist too.

Good music is meant for enjoyment, not for motivation. Tempo, lyrics, and other music features are most important for this enjoyment factor.

I have created some playlists of my music for your HR+ earbud heart monitor, or however you listen. The two playlists are for an Easy Aerobic Workout, and for Higher Intensity Training. And, it’s all free.

As an option, you can also listen to one of my whole albums, such as The Best of Phil Maffetone, or the newest one, Outlier. Or, choose the songs you like best as there are more than 100 on my website. You can also find them on your online streaming site, and create your own personalized playlist.

Don’t forget, you can currently buy the MAF HR+ earbuds with 20% off while stocks last.

Enjoy each workout, like each song!

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