Month: February 2016
We all feel better after a period of aerobic exercise because our hearts pump more efficiently and oxygen floods into our brains. Aerobic exercise is even known to lighten the emotional load of sadness and depression.
Yes, some people achieve aerobic fitness by jogging, running, and riding bikes at top speeds. I, as a senior, however, rely on low impact, non-bouncing, marching exercises to keep me fit. Unfortunately, some days I achieve my aerobic goal, and others, not. This inconsistency puzzled me because I could not perceive changes in my exercise patterns from day to day.
+ Listen to Music at the Right Tempo: I always listen to fast-paced music while exercising because I thought that a strong tempo would drive my behavior. What I didn’t realize was that the beat of the tunes I listened to were often different, making the pace of exercise different from day to day.
I was surprised to learn, then, that popular dance music usually has a tempo of around 120 to 125 beats-per-minute (BPM). To get an aerobic boost, you actually need a faster cadence, at anywhere between 140 and 180 BPM. This meant that almost all of my existing music needed an increase in speed in order to make my workouts consistent.
+ Move to the Beat: To achieve an aerobic goal, you need to move your entire body (feet, arms and torso) to the beat’s rhythm, although this movement does not need to be forceful. Think of the beat as a pump, with its resulting movement as the output that boosts your heart rate.
Low impact aerobics produce the same results as high impact aerobics, but without stress on your extremities, just as long as you reach your aerobic goals.
Confined to a chair? Do chair aerobics to a very fast tempo. The only thing required of your technique is that you keep your legs and arms moving continuously to the rhythm of your choice.
+ Create Your Own Aerobic Music: Aerobic music at specific BPMs is available for sale, but that music is often uninteresting. For better music (the type that you actually want to listen to), use a tempo changing program to speed up the tunes you like.
If your tune has a tempo of 125 BPM, for example, you can change it to 145 BPM or more through this software without distortion. If it is too fast, slow it down. If you can’t attend an aerobics class or find classes to be too stressful, let the tempo be your guide.
Note that as you become aerobically fit, you might have to increase the speed at which you exercise, so creating your own aerobic music is the most efficient and cost-effective way to establish a personal exercise tune library.
To change the tempo on an existing tune precisely, do it through a tempo changing program or app that suits your computer or tablet, then save the transformed music. Search for the appropriate program by using any of these key word phrases:
- change the tempo of music online
- change the tempo of music software
- change the tempo of music app
+ Identify the Beat of Existing Music: Are you curious as to how fast your current exercise music really is? You will be surprised to find out! Simply use www.TempoTap.com. To measure, open the app, then tap the tempo as if you were playing a drum on a special box if using a touch screen, or on your space bar. Here is what Tempo Tap’s interface looks like:
You might find owning an up/down timer handy to keep track of your exercise periods. I limit my periods, for example, to 5 minutes each for a short break, and 10 minutes each for longer one. (Ten minutes three times a day is all you need to experience a profound physical improvement!)
To keep track of your pulse (and achievements), consider buying a “Finger Pulse Monitor.” There are several styles on Amazon.com, generally priced between $15 and $30, or you can save money by checking your pulse manually.
For a bigger investment, consider fitness monitoring devices, such as a Fitbit, which can wirelessly transfer its readings to your computer.
- Beats Per Minute Music Tracks for Exercise, Livestrong.com
- Music: Your best workout buddy, Gabriella Boston, Washington Post
- Heart Rate Zone Calculator
- Physical Benefits of Marching, Alice Toyonaga, Fitnessrepublic.com
- Video: Chair Fitness Workout by Paul Eugene (music at approximately 128 BPM)
- Video: Marching with Moves for Beginners by Jenny Ford (music at approximately 140 BPM)
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