Listening to music for a better workout, improved lifestyle

A friend and I were sitting at my kitchen table recently, just shooting the breeze as they say, when we began talking about different types of music and which ones are absolute must-haves for our playlists. Both of us are health fanatics so naturally the conversation centered on songs that pump you up, put you in the zone, increase energy for that one extra rep or mile, and make you feel unstoppable during a workout.

Maybe a little ‘Eye of the Tiger’, or some AC/DC?

I’m sure you’ve all been there, right?!?!?!?!? You’re probably thinking the playlist you’ve created is the, and you’d likely feel lost without it. Music is a good kind of distraction. I mean, I can’t think of a workout I’ve had where I didn’t have something playing on my headphones or in the background.

Having nothing there seems … well, weird!

So my friend — who happens to be a guy — is rattling off these high-energy songs, bands and music apps like Pandora and iHeart Radio when I completely throw him for a loop and suggest Brain Shift Radio. He had no clue what that was, but trust me when I say it’s fantastic!

I don’t want to turn this blog into an infomercial, but here’s the skinny. BSR is interactive, prescriptive internet radio created by the Strong Institute (no relation to being strong in the gym … sorry, corny joke) and is based on core musical elements effective in helping improve focus, reduce anxiety, fall asleep fast, raise energy and enhance cognitive abilities.

I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I’ve suffered from anxiety and depression in the past. My son, Pierce, has dyslexia, so I turned to BSR for ways to help him. We’d put on some low music in the background while Pierce was working on a project, and we saw immediate benefits.

It was then I realized, “Hey, I need that too.” I think I shocked my friend even more when I told him I prefer to listen to personal development stuff on BSR from the likes of John C Maxwell, Chalene Johnson and Joel Osteen — while I’m working out at home or taking our lovable dog, Jojo, for a walk.

To each his/her own, right?

And that’s part of the point I’m trying to make here. Jamming out to your favorite tunes during a workout is great. And trust me, I will preach that all day long. But being an online health and fitness coach also means paying attention to the much larger spectrum of health, and opening clients’ eyes to the fact that there are natural ways to achieve a better YOU.

Music is one of those remedies.

Beyond snatching up your favorite earbuds, pumping up the volume with some Eminem or Daft Punk — you didn’t think I was that hip, did you? — and going to town on the treadmill, music also helps by:

*help you find self awareness (thinking about who you want to be, gaining a quick escape from reality)

*change your mood

*ease anxiety, soothe pain and reduce stress

*improve memory, concentration

*medical/mental benefits like boosting heart health, improving back pain, stroke recovery and dyslexia

I could find a ton more benefits for music, but for now I will simply say that music soothes the soul. There are apps and radio stations out there — beyond BSR — that cover a variety of genres and even standard radio stations. Whatever gets you in your groove for the day, utilize it.

Below is a list of 10 fantastic websites/music apps to help you find your better YOU.

*Brain Shift Radio —

*Pandora Radio —

*ITunes Radio —

*Google Play Music —

*iHeartRadio —

*Slacker Radio —

*Songza —

*Spotify —

*TuneIn Radio —

*Rhapsody —

And for those of you who just want to get a good list of some killer workout songs, check out this link.