The musical way to work out

By Caroline Klapper | Jan 09, 2013
Photo by: File photo I don't look like this when I'm working out.

Exercising is a painful process for me. At best, it’s boring and time consuming, and at its worst, it’s an arduous process involving a lot of sweating, sore muscles and more sweating.

That’s why I’m always looking for ways to distract myself from the fact that I’m actually exercising.

I’ve written about the Zombies, Run! game app and my attempts at Zumba, but I haven’t yet talked about the importance of music.

Music is a vital part of motivating myself to get moving and keep moving. I regularly refresh the songs on my phone so I always have something new keeping me company on my runs.

My taste is eclectic and can range from oldies and classic rock to rap and pop (although Britney Spears and Taylor Swift need not apply — I have my standards).

At the moment, Michael Jackson, Cee Lo Green, Elvis, Jay-Z, Neon Trees, The Temptations, Prince, T-Pain, Cyndi Lauper, Rage Against the Machine, and a slew of others are providing the beat to my footsteps.

I know, pretty random.

But what’s even more random is a recent discovery I made while downloading some of my favorite show tunes (yes, I like musicals that much).

“What if I tried running to show tunes?” I thought. “That could be fun.”

And so I did. And so it is — fun, I mean.

First of all, unless a song is a sad, poignant number, musicals tend to have pretty upbeat, bouncy rhythms, making them perfect for running.

I refer back to my favorite musical of all time, “The Music Man.” Of course, “Seventy-Six Trombones” is the big number in this musical, but I love running to “Ya Got Trouble” and “Sadder but Wiser.” Even “Wells Fargo Wagon” is a good choice for a fast pace.

I’ve enjoyed running to “America” from “West Side Story,” and “Greased Lightnin’” from “Grease.” I grabbed “Popular” and “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked,” and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

I’ve got a lot more to explore in this new show tunes/exercise combo I’ve got going on, but I’m loving it so far.

Aside from just being great songs with strong rhythms and fun lyrics, they bring me such great memories of seeing those musicals performed onstage or film, going to shows with my mom, singing those same songs at the top of my lungs with my best friend growing up….

Sometimes I almost forget I’m running, and that is saying something.

What are some of your favorite tunes to get you through a trip to the gym? Golden oldies, pop, rap, country, classic rock, metal, alternative, techno? Share because I’m always looking for something new.

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