I was on a walk and noticed an iguana on the edge of a bridge pillar. He was still for the longest time, but eventually moved veeeerrrrryyyyy slowly. I knew he was capable of moving faster, but apparently wasn’t in the mood. Some days we feel like that, like an iguana.

I’ve discovered a tool that absolutely works for me: playing music, the kind that gets me jazzed up. Maybe its Lady Gaga’s Born This Way that gets you moving. Or perhaps U2’s Pride gets your butt wiggling or Herb Albert and The Tijuana Brass’s Spanish Flea. Whatever our musical taste, we gotta pick music that makes us move and motivates us to keep moving.

Music brings out the best in us and generates positive emotions. It soothes us and reduces stress. Unless we’re listening to All By Myself by Eric Carmen, music makes us feel good and encourages us to move and move faster. Studies show that if we listen to music during exercise we will exercise harder, longer, and even be motivated to keep moving when we get fatigued. Wow, what a motivator! Music is accessible, reasonable in price and very portable.

Listening to our favorite music will put a spring in our step and give us a positive, feel-good feeling. There are plenty of places to add music. Here are several:

  • On a walk or a run
  • During our exercise routine or on an exercise machine
  • While we’re doing household tasks like cleaning, doing laundry, washing the car, cleaning the dishes
  • In our car and at our computer (we can wiggle a little and squeeze our bums while we’re sitting there)
  • Gardening, raking leaves or mowing the lawn

For music during exercise, I set up playlists in my Spotify app on my iPhone with songs in which the beats per minute (BPM) matches my activity. For example, I walk, so I target music with 120 to 130 BPM. For you runners out there, you might find music with 150 to 160 BPM to be optimal. If you’re cleaning the house, you may not care how many BPM the songs have, but if you plan to ride your elliptical for thirty minutes and want to stay motivated, you will want songs with a faster beat. Amazon MP3 and iTunes offer fitness and workout playlists that are customized to match the number of BPM you desire.


The Amazon Echo also offers a mindless hey Alexa, play whatever feature that my husband and I absolutely love! If you’re feeling a bit lazy and don’t want to create your own playlists, this may be the route to go. If you’re not too tech savvy, pick out CDs that have songs with appropriate BPM levels.

Regardless of whether you’ve loaded your phone or MP3 player with groovy fast moving songs, or you’re still using a turntable from your 70s college dorm, play music. Play it often, wiggle your toosh, dance and move!

Iguana photo credit: Gordon McCall. North of 52 receives no compensation for products mentioned in post.

What is your favorite music that makes you move a little faster?


  1. I completely agree. I play 1970s rock when cleaning the house and it surely motivates me. I just hope no one is looking!

  2. Pandora works great for me during my workouts. Lots of Rush, Kansas and bands like that are on my stations. You are right about it motivating me. I seriously can’t work out without music. Makes me feel young again too.


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