Music apps to help you pump up your running routinePosted: July 25, 2014
We’re all about making fitness feel like fun, not torture. (Frisbee, anyone?) However, a new study reveals that there is some validity to the idea of “no pain push, no gain”, showing that intense exercise changes the body and strengthens muscles in ways that milder physical activity simply can’t match. The New York Times explains the details here, but in short, if you want to improve your fitness, you’re going to need to push yourself. That means, not just up and off the couch, but slightly beyond your comfort zone.
It’s suggested that during moderate exercise, you should be able to talk, but not sing, while during vigorous activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. So while you might not be able to sing the songs these apps bring you, they are all designed to help you pump it up for greater workout benefits.
4 Music Apps for Pumping Up Your Running Routine
- Match your music to your movement. That’s the idea behind PaceDJ, an app that uses your music library to match tempo to running pace. It automatically chooses songs as you move, reorienting itself every few steps of the way. So when you slow down, you’ll know it, and can work to pick back up both the music and your speed. Start it up and get moving, or custom design your own interval training program.
- Set your tempo, move faster. With TempoRun, your music collection is analyzed and categorized by song according to beats per minute. It’s set on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 for walking, 5 for jogging, 10 for sprinting – so depending on the intensity you’re trying to achieve, you choose the level before heading out.
- Discover new music designed for sweating it out. Tired of your own playlists? RockMyRun streams music from its own archives while you workout, catered to the pace you choose. You select how many beats per minute the music should have, along with genre, song length, and other features you wish your playlist to have.
- Synchronize EVERY beat to your footfalls: Cruise Control adjusts your music in real-time, meaning as soon as you speed up, so will the beats of the song streaming through your headphones. How does it do this? The app has an algorithm that can slow down or speed up your songs, while keeping the sound and pitch unchanged. It invites you to choose a high beats-per-minute playlist, and see if you can take on the challenge of maintaining the tempo as you stride. If you keep up, you’ll feel the beauty that comes from perfect synchronization.
Why they work: Multiple studies have shown that fast-tempo music tends to drive equally paced workouts and our capacity to workout harder. Music also acts as a distraction, making participants less aware of their exertion, with upbeat tunes in particular giving our brain more information to process and focus on. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) are shown to have maximum effect. Aside from pushing us to work harder, better, faster, stronger, the greatest asset of music in this context may be its ability to make your exercise experience more enjoyable. In the end, exercise needs to be fun (at least to some extent) if you’re likely to stick with it, and that goes for the experience of upping the ante on your workout’s intensity, too. Use these apps to help you fire it up, and maybe even fit in a playful groove session as you cool it down after, too.