Welcome to Workout Wednesday at the Owl Muse!
Around here, January is the month for setting goals and changing habits. For a lot of us who sit around all day, that means moving more. “Move it or lose” it as they say, and I think that pertains to mental health as much as physical functioning. I have zero credentials as a fitness expert, but I have tried numerous different approaches over the years, and I will share with you the routines that I have found to be most effective for me. YMMV, but I have nothing to gain from selling you on a particular approach, so I’m unbiased in that regard.
My basic insight about exercise is just this: doing something is better than doing nothing. If you like cardio, do cardio. If you like lifting weights, lift weights. If you like biking, bike. I also added a couple of workouts inspired by a boot camp (Thanks, Matt!) I used to go to–plyometrics and circuit training–because (i think) they are fun and relatively easy to do at home with minimal equipment.
And, after all, this is a music blog — so I have developed workouts that are guided by awesome playlists. This one is a real mix — old songs and new — different genres and styles. I have also found that good music really motivates me to work out and not give up after 3 minutes like I would with a workout video. Sometimes just watching Jillian Michaels on the TV is enough work, right?
The first mixtape is a 45 minute workout with a set of two and three minute songs, perfect for cardio. One thing I will say about cardio is that I have found that doing intervals (also called HIIT which sounds more painful than it is) is more helpful than doing steady state cardio. The idea is to go full-on for two minutes, recover for three. Rinse. Repeat. This will work for any type of cardio. Do whatever exercise works for your fitness level and suits your fancy: sprint/run, jog/walk, climb stairs, jump rope, use any sort of cardio machine. The only thing is to go hard, then go easy (lower your heart rate but don’t stop moving!). If it’s too easy, you can switch it up — go hard for three minutes and recover for two. I use a heart rate monitor and keep my pulse between 110 and 135.
OWL MUSE CARDIO INTERVALS < listen to this mix on spotify
1. Blue Jeans (RAC mix)/Lana Del Ray/RAC – warm up
2. Motor Away/Guided by Voices – go fast
3. Huddle Formation/The Go! Team – recover
4. Poppy Day/Brighter – go fast
5. Coma Complacency/Japandroids – recover
6. Something I Learned Today/Husker Du – go fast
7. In Our Angelhood/Cocteau Twins – recover
8. Deep Sea Diving Suit/The Magnetic Fields – go fast
9. Gotta Get Away/The Black Keys – recover
10. Song 2/Blur – go fast
11. Argonauts/The Little Ones – cool down
12. Afternoon/Youth Lagoon – stretch
13. Every Other Freckle/Alt-J – stretch
BTW, I am just music fan who works out, not a medical or exercise professional, so use common sense and check with your doctor if you don’t normally workout. Also, don’t run outside in the dark or when it’s slippery. And watch for cars!