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Exercising to the Oldies


I recently discovered how fun it is to listen to audio books while walking, but to be honest, if I want to ramp it up faster than a walk I have to have music.  Over the years I have spent hundreds of hours searching for the right songs.  It can’t just be any song.  I have to like it and it has to have the right tempo. I can’t tell you how many songs I loaded into my playlist only to find that certain parts dragged me down. There is all sorts of scientific evidence to support using music and you can read more about it in this article.  But it boils down to finding music that has the right beats per minute (BPM) for my pace.

It is not that I just  love oldies. My exercise music does change as I find new songs. “Mercy” by Duffy was added a couple of years ago; last year I added  “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, and then this year “Rollin’ in the Deep” by Adele.  But certain songs just have the right rhythm, causing me to return to them over and over. They help me get started; they encourage a certain speed, and they motivate me to the end.

It takes a lot to get me going in the morning.  So check out this oldie that I return to time and time again as a warm up (video above). There is something satisfying about belting out “early in the morning” at 6 a.m. One of  my instructors used it all the time in her workout classes, so don’t hold the video against me – honest, this is the first time I have actually seen it.  The women even look like they’re ready for exercise with their leg warmers. Of course you can’t miss the men’s costumes either, with their jump suits and feathers.

Then after I start moving.  The first five to ten minutes are grueling until I find my pace.  I rarely listen to country music but for some reason I never fail to get a burst of energy when “End of the Line” starts.   The BPM doesn’t seem that fast, and maybe I just start out slow, but the tempo is perfect to ease me into my jog.


Towards the end, as I am tiring, this song motivates me to continue to the end.


This is a sentimental favorite for a warmdown.  I remember jogging around my neigborhood in the 80s to this song.


Check out the hair, large earings, and padded shoulders.

Do you find it difficult to find just the right song? Are you still listening to oldies when you exercise?  If so, what songs have stood the test of time?

– Leigh AAR

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