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Tempo can be a powerful motivator, according to Costas Karageorghis, PhD, associate professor of sport psychology at Brunel University in England, who studies how music affects people. Recently he reported in the International Journal of Sports Medicine
that when musical beats per minute (bpm) roughly correspond to a person's heart rate during exercise, motivation dramatically improves. Costas suggests experimenting with music of different tempos to see what coaxes you into a more positive frame of mind. To get you started, he's created playlists for different activities with bpm guidelines. (You can determine a song's beats per minute by Googling the title with "bpm," or try a site like EZ-Tracks.com
Meditation and yoga
(50 to 76 bpm): "Albatross," Fleetwood Mac (66 bpm); "Evenstar," London Philharmonic (50 bpm); "Terrapin," Bonobo (76 bpm).
(95 to 120 bpm): "Let's Get It Started," Black Eyed Peas (105 bpm); "Pon De Replay," Rihanna (100 bpm); "This Is How We Do It," Montell Jordan (104 bpm).
Running; elliptical machine (125 to 160 bpm):
"Push It," Salt-N-Pepa (124 bpm); "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit," Fedde Le Grand (129 bpm); "Run to You," Bryan Adams (135 bpm).