In Summary
  • Whether you favour pop, rock, classical or hip-hop, the right music can make all the difference when powering through a tough workout.
  • But if you have not found the right beats to boost your motivation, the solution may be as simple as switching your song selection.

As part of his New Year resolution, Sam Bagala, enrolled at his neighbourhood gym. However, Bagala says his good intentions fell by the wayside when the instructor decided to play Celine Dion music for the whole workout session. “I have no problem with Celine but her songs tend to be the type that calms you down instead of getting you fired up,” he adds. Bagala says he left the gym and has never gone back.

Music is a huge deal when it comes to working out. Abbey Ssozi, a manager at Acorns Gym in Ntinda, says the role of music in a gym is to inspire, motivate and uplift the mood of those working out. Usually, he says, they start with a slow tempo for warming up and keep upping the tempo until it reaches the peak and then slow it down as the session winds down. The instructor has the liberty to choose the music to suit the particular session he is having and the people working out.

Ssozi agrees with Bagala that the first song can make or break the workout. “For most people, getting started is the hardest part, so it is usually very helpful to start an aerobics session with a highly motivational song and during the middle of the workout when people’s energy is waning. A song such as “What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger)” will help them push themselves at the moment they feel like giving up,” Ssozi states.

Personal trainer Otieno Karuhanga Wariago aka coach Oti from Kyanja says having a variety of different tunes to play breaks the monotony of a workout, especially if the session lasts long. “The best workout songs can be fast, mid-tempo, uplifting, nostalgic, or funny. They should be catchy, feel-good and relatable songs that can literally help you shake off negative thoughts,” Oti says.

Those trying to make a personal selection can include music that brings good memories and positive associations. “Load up your playlist with the kind of music you can never get enough of hearing. Chances are you will get caught up singing every word of your favourite music and find yourself jogging further, lifting longer,” Oti adds. He recommends updating the playlist until the person has at least four or five different playlists.
Coach Fahad from Fitness Core in Ntinda says; “You choose music that is appropriate for the people according to their tastes and the exercise they are doing,” Fahad explains, adding that some people do not prefer music at all and would rather workout in a totally quiet environment.

Time of day
Because his clientele is a mixture of different age groups, gender and backgrounds, Fahad makes sure that the music being played is as neutral as possible.
“I care about the lyrics in the music being played. It would be embarrassing for a father who is working out with his daughter to listen to lyrics that tend to objectify women. Also, as a religious person, I would be offended by the same lyrics, so I do not incorporate them in our playlist,” he clarifies. Fahad further states that the time of the day matters, some people prefer to watch news on TV so as to catch up with current events as they exercise before going to work.

Make your playlist personal
If you are wondering what songs to add to your workout playlist, do not forget to include songs that have a positive impact on your emotional well-being. This way, you can get more out of your workout whenever you hear a song that has a positive effect on you.

Some of the best workout for people with asthma

Having asthma should not keep you from exercising. The trick is to make sure it is well controlled with medication and to choose your activity carefully.

Walking: Adults who walk three times a week for 12 weeks will improve asthma control and fitness levels without provoking an attack.
Make sure you walk for half an hour at a time with five minutes of warm up and five minutes of cooling down.
Yoga: It is great for people with asthma, since breathing exercises can activate more areas of the lung. People who practice Hatha yoga two and a half hours a week for 10 weeks were able to cut down on their asthma medication.

Racquet sports: Tennis, volleyball, soccer and other racquet sports allow you to expend energy on the court with regular rests between games and access to a water bottle.
Golfing: It is not only good for the mind, it is not likely to induce an asthma attack.

Swimming: It is an ideal sport for asthmatics, you are breathing in air that is highly humidified and often warm.
One should, however, be careful about pools with excessive chlorine as the chemical can trigger an asthma attack. Before starting any exercise routine, please talk to your doctor for proper guidance.