We all know we need to exercise—but can music really help? Well, humans love rhythm. We tap our toes, and nod our head to the beat. Even toddlers will waddle to the rhythm. And if we add music to exercise, the brain benefits, along with the heart.
When researchers at Ohio State University added music to exercise, the participants who exercised to music performed more than twice as well on verbal fluency tests than those who exercised without music: Adding Music to Exercise Good for the Brain Other studies indicate that heart rate increases and more calories are burned when exercising to medium and fast tempo music: The Effect of Varying Musical Tempo on Exertion During Exercise And there are even studies that confirm what most of us know anyway: exercise is just more fun with music we enjoy.
Music with 110 beats per minute (BPM) seems to be preferred for steady exercise, with some liking even faster tempos. Slower BPM songs can be used for warm-up and cool-down periods.
If you need a little encouragement to get moving—even if it is just waving your arms and tapping your toes, try this: ELVIS PRESLEY–JAILHOUSE ROCK Or use the music the Ohio State study used: VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS
And if you are looking for the music our residents would love, try this:
Billboard Top Songs Each Year Since 1940
The songs listed below—many of which our New Perspective residents would recognize—can be found on YouTube. The beats per minute are listed as well:
Hello, Dolly, Louis Armstrong (78 BPM)
I’ve Got the World on a String, Louis Armstrong (110 BPM)
Soul Man, Sam & Dave (113 BPM)
Downtown, Petula Clark (119 BPM)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh), The Token (122 BPM)
Route 66, Nat King Cole (123 BPM)
That’s Life, Frank Sinatra (125 BPM)
Papa Loves Mambo, Perry Como (126 BPM)
The Loco-Motion, Little Eva (130 BPM)
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