Vail Daily health column: The best and quickest way to get psyched for training |

Vail Daily health column: The best and quickest way to get psyched for training

Can you remember a time when you had a workout on the schedule, but your only thoughts were: “It has been such a long day.”

We’ve all experienced moments when fitness becomes a need instead of a want (even Vail locals and enthusiasts sometimes just want to sit down and relax).

When it’s time to pick up the intensity, in a very short period of time, music works in two ways: First, our physiological processes, such as heart rate and respiration, respond to the rhythmic components of music. Second, music promotes thoughts and feelings that inspires physical activity and goal-achievement.

In other words, music is one of the greatest ways to create an optimal mindset for peak performance. For example, listening to music between 125 and 140 beats per minute increases your heart rate.


For times when you need to get emotionally and mentally energized for training, choose music that literally sets the mood. There are a few ways to do this:

1. Choose a melody and harmony that elicits positive energy. It’s not always about the lyrics. For example, the instrumental song, “Charriots of Fire” can light an internal spark and makes a great addition to anyone’s pump-up

2. Choose a song that reminds you of a previous positive experience. We all have certain songs that remind us of great moments in our life. These moments do not have to be fitness related, as long as they place you in a positive and optimistic mood.

3. Choose songs that have inspiring lyrics. Just as the musicality can be more influential than the lyrics, the words can also be more impactful than the melody. You may not know these songs, but even the titles elicit certain thoughts and feelings:

“It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons, “Perfect Day” by Cascada, “Don’t Give Up” by Bryan Adams and “Hearts on Fire” from Rocky IV.

My final piece of advice is to use your music before your training begins so that you can start your session energized and motivated. Start your playlist at home, in the car or in the locker room so that you can take advantage of every minute you have to improve your fitness and overall performance.

With a Ph.D. in sport and exercise psychology, Haley Perlus is a professor, published author, international speaker and peak performance consultant. For more free tips, visit or call 303-459-4516.

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