Ramp It Up
Once you're warm, it's time to move on to some workout music that will really get your blood pumping. You can use this time to run, to march in place, to jump around, or even to dance! To keep yourself pushing hard while building endurance, this is a great time to do what's called "interval training." That means alternating periods of very intense aerobic activity like running with periods of gentler, lower-intensity movement like walking.
To naturally build intervals into your workout music, just alternate very fast songs with slightly slower songs. You'll switch back and forth between high and low intensity without even noticing! For high intensity workout music, try Kylie Minogue, Michael Jackson, Fischerspooner, Outkast, or anything with a serious beat.
For lower intensity workout music, try Massive Attack, David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, or anything that will keep you engaged and energized while you wait for the next burst of activity. Start with twenty minutes of interval workout music. As you get more fit, challenge yourself by adding more songs to this section of your workout music mix.
A brief cool down will help you ease out of your workout to minimize the strain on your system, so end your workout music mix with a few songs that will encourage you to slowly return from a hard aerobic session to your normal movement pace.
Include five minutes worth of songs that are a good speed for marching in place. Start out marching quickly, and gradually slow down until your heart has stopped pumping at an elevated rate. By slowing down gently instead of stopping abruptly, you'll minimize the stress on your heart muscle.
Good workout music for this period will help you ease to a slower speed; try a bright up-tempo pop song followed by a slower rock ballad. Two songs by a favorite artist played back to back is a great way to bring the aerobic section of your workout music mix to a close; try "Holiday" and "La Isla Bonita" by Madonna.
Stretch It Out
Now the hard work is done, and it's time to luxuriate with a nice stretch and some workout music to soothe and uplift you. When you stretch, you minimize your risk of aches and muscle fatigue tomorrow, plus it will make you feel great. To mark your stretching time, add five final minutes of workout music that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.
During your stretch, your brain will flood with endorphins that make you feel great, and listening to a few great tracks will help you coast on that great feeling for hours to come