Hip-Hop Health: 5 Benefits Of Working Out With Music

Recently I have been thinking about my health and how to become a healthier person. My father was in the hospital last year and it made me reflect on the mistakes that I made in the past. This reflection lead to the a renewed interest in working out and eating healthier (External motivation from Glen Adams, Darnell, Travis, Jessica, Jay, Ellen and others helped as well). It is amazing how the body can transform from flubber to being toned and vice versa. This post will focus on health, more specifically five benefits of working out with music.

In order to pinpoint the benefits I must first focus on the mistakes that I made in the past. Nutrition is something that I always struggled with, I would consume large amounts of food without giving thought to the ramifications. I would space my meals apart which lead to binge eating. I would rely work out. I became a coach potato that ballooned to 313 pounds (looking at me you wouldn't think that I was 313 pounds but hey looks can be deceived, plus I wear black haha). If I saw a Weight Watchers commercial or a P90x commercial I would turn the channel.

I felt like the message on the television was intended for me (makes me think about Sunday School and Church). I would fall deeper into depression and it would affect my interpersonal relationships. Food became a way for me to escape. Food! Wonderful food!

It was all a dream...

In the beginning of January I had a dream that continues to haunt me to this day. I had a dream that I was lying in a hospital bed and my family was looking at me. This dream was odd because it included Wilford Brimley and he continued to recite Diabeetus, Diabeetus, Diabeetus. Now of course this dream caused me to evaluate my eating habits and work towards feeling better. I believe that the dream was a message from God.

The first thing I had to do was get an idea of my eating habits. In the past I used an app called My Fitness Pal and it proved to be very successful during my first weight loss experience. My Fitness Pal allowed me to track what I was eating on a daily basis. After I started noticing that I was losing weight, I had to incorporate an exercise regimen.

Introduction to Kettlebells

I had tried a variety of workout programs in the past (I used to read Bodybuilding magazines all the time when I was a teenager). I found that none of the programs worked for me because they did not address my needs. I wanted to shed fat yet I was working on strength building haha. I started researching weight loss and I stumbled upon kettlebells. I thought, wow these kettlebells are amazing. This led to more research and I stumbled upon this Fat Burning Kettlebell Complex from Ryan Miller.

I thought to myself, I have to buy some kettlebells (Vanessa is so awesome!). It wasn't until Christmas of 2010 that I was blessed with my first Kettlebell (thanks to my sisters, Maria and Marissa!). I used the kettlebell all the time. I constantly researched about new exercises and more. I used the kettlebell for about two months then I stopped working out. I stopped focusing on nutrition and I blew up!

Fast forward back to the present, I am working on eating healthier again and working out again. When I did my kettlebell workouts in the past I had to have music playing. I did not want to be distracted from the main goal (which is a good workout of course haha). The centralized focus for this blog post is determining five benefits of working out with music.

5 Benefits of Working Out With Music

  • Music provides pace and thus can increase the intensity of a workout
  • Music allows you to avoid distractions in the gym
  • Music allows you to remain focused on the task at hand
  • Music keeps the workout from being stale
  • Music, more specifically a playlist, can be modified for any activity
I am a big advocate for working out with music. I believe that it provides pace. The pace can increase the intensity of the workout. A faster song may cause you to work out at a faster rate thus increasing the heart rate. Music also gives you the opportunity to avoid potential distractions in the gym. It is inevitable that people will try to talk to you. Headphones on usually means "leave me alone, I am working out haha."

Music also allows you to remain focused on the task at hand. If you are a bodybuilder you may want to focus on the pump. If you are running you may want to focus on your surroundings. Music also prevents the workout from being stale. Working out without music caused me to focus on the wrong things. Like a guy grunting while he is lifting ten pound weights haha or the attractive female that obviously forgot to wear any SUPPORT (good thing I work out at home!).

The wonderful thing about having an iPod is that you have the ability to craft a playlist that is specific to your activity. When I am working out I like to listen to something that is going to pump me up. I usually listen to a playlist that includes Sean Price, MOP, Bad Meets Evil, Vakill, Jedi Mind Tricks, Kanye and even some hard rock. The playlist allows me to reach my full potential. Craft your playlist depending on the activity that you are engaging in.

If I can do it, so can you...

The quest for weight loss or a healthier lifestyle is a journey. There are no shortcuts. You have to put in 100% to get results. Learn from my mistakes and you will definitely progress towards a healthier lifestyle. The next post might focus on the importance of working out with a partner.

Running With Ipods Image retrieved from HERE
Wilford Brimley Diabeetus Image retrieved from HERE

Futher Information:
Guide to Healthcare Schools has information on nutrition and fitness classes.

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