Motivate yourself with music: Create a workout playlist.

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Gathering the motivation to start a workout isn’t always easy, but the right music can make all the difference. Use music to get motivated before a workout, maintain your energy while you move and bring your heart rate back to a resting level after you’ve finished. Here’s a guide to help create the perfect workout playlist:

Evaluate your music.

Look through your library for songs that start off slower and gain momentum, your favorite dance songs, your favorite songs to listen to as you get ready for the day and any songs that put you in a good mood.

Pick a warm-up song.

A song you love has the power to instantly change your mood. You need a song that makes you want to put on your shoes, jump up and hit the gym. Try to find a song that lasts 4-5 minutes, or pick two. While you listen, make sure you’re stretching and mixing in some light cardio like brisk walking or light jogging to get your heart rate up.

Find a motivation song.

This song should be as upbeat and motivating as the first one or two warm-up songs, but with a faster beat. Use this song to transition into your main workout.

Maintain your workout songs.

These songs should be the body of your workout. Pick songs that help you stay motivated. If you’re running, go with a beat that matches your pace. If you’re lifting, pick songs that will encourage you to do that extra set. Choose your favorites that are upbeat and exciting.

Mix in a few valley songs.

In between “maintain your workout” songs, mix in some “valley” songs with a slightly slower beat to keep your body balanced. By incorporating slower songs with faster songs, you’ll burn more calories and get a better workout.

Count on a cool-down song (Finally).

This song is the closing tune to your workout. It should be slower than your valley songs and is meant to bring your body back to its resting heart rate.

Create your workout playlist and find more tips and resources for a healthy heart at heart.org.

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