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I had an epiphany today about exercise and music

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Old 01-14-2011, 04:49 PM   #1
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Default I had an epiphany today about exercise and music

I used to carry my music with me everywhere. I was obsessed with my ipod. Last semester I took a physical fitness class and was at the gym once or twice a week and would just grit my teeth and do it, pushing through from song to song on my ipod, trying desperately to ignore how much i hated working out.
Yesterday was the first day since my pacemaker surgery that I've been allowed to work out, so I rushed to the gym and used my ipod. Same horrible feeling. I felt like I was just pushing through and it was miserable. Today I forgot my ipod. But I didn't want to waste time so I decided just to work out with no music, no nothing, just me, the machines, and my waterbottle.

It was FANTASTIC.

I worked out for an entire hour and a half (which is a personal best), and I actually made a plan as I went. I made a circuit. First on the mats for stretches, and work with a medicine ball. then free weights, then a couple sit ups, then treadmill, then weight machines, then to the bathroom and the fountain to refill my bottle. I completed my circuit twice in that time and drank 80 oz of water. I felt amazing. Sore, but amazing.

Without my music, I am SO in tune with my body. I knew when to stop, and I knew when to push myself to keep going. I felt everything more strongly, and I kept an even tempo and counted reps and felt very at peace and calm. I am normally a stressed out person so this calm that washed over me was incredibly refreshing.

I think I've hit the jackpot.

Bottom line is, Some people do really well with music--it can be a great motivator--I can't get any homework done without music. But if you always listen to music while at the gym, try taking out the earbuds and listening to your body instead. You may like what you hear!
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:05 PM   #2
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that is funny, when i saw the title of your post I thought yeah I will put in my ipod when on the eliptical, I use to but have not for a while and realize how much i missed it.

Funny how we are all so different!
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:33 AM   #3
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That's awesome that you found that out about yourself. Personally, I'm the opposite and the right playlist can literally keep me in the gym for hours. I think it's so individual though.

Maybe working out has your mind so stimulated that adding more stimuli like music scrambles you all up?
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:48 AM   #4
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I'm with you!
I love music. I would have it going 24/7 in my house if it didn't drive my husband crazy.
When I first started out running or on the treadmill/elliptical I had to have my Ipod. It really did help to have something to groove to but...

One day I decided to try running without my music and I LOVE it. I do! You can just listen to the world around you, you can actually listen to yourself, the thoughts streaming through your mind and how your body is doing.

I also run music free now and it's so much more calming for me.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshirecat View Post
I'm with you!
I love music. I would have it going 24/7 in my house if it didn't drive my husband crazy.
When I first started out running or on the treadmill/elliptical I had to have my Ipod. It really did help to have something to groove to but...

One day I decided to try running without my music and I LOVE it. I do! You can just listen to the world around you, you can actually listen to yourself, the thoughts streaming through your mind and how your body is doing.

I also run music free now and it's so much more calming for me.
Agreed. Somehow when I listen to music when I work out, I feel like I'm just trying to "get through" the work out, but without music, my thoughts wander but they revolve around the weight loss topic, and i become very philosophical about it. All the usual thoughts "oh i'm so disgusting, howd i get this fat, blah blah blah," go out the window and I'm suddenly reasoning with myself the simple reason that I'm working out and dieting: For my health, and to, in the long run, improve my quality of life.
What's so complicated about that?
Forget feeling ugly and down on myself, that's a waste of time.

For gods sake, I'm 20 and I just had a pacemaker surgery. I need to be healthy and to prolong my life. That's why I will lose weight this time. And I will not gain any back, because I have to be healthy.

Its amazing how a simple philosophical discussion with yourself can change your entire outlook on life.
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:59 PM   #6
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Absolutely!!
And now you really have the solid reason for losing weight. It's so unmotivating to be so negative to yourself all the time. But once you can get past that and really understand the reason for weight loss (healthy life, better quality of life and because it is fun) I think it helps to motivate you more and help you stick with it.

My mind completely wanders too when I run. I start with the things that happened that day, the little stresses and whatnot and they get thought through and flushed out of my mind and I start pondering running, or weight loss, or my future life, or what i can do to help improve myself. It can get very philosophical at times! It's like mediation on the move. Ha. It really helps empty my mind and helps me through whatever is making me anxious or stressed.

And I can't do that with music, because you focus on the music when I had my Ipod. Now I look around and look within me. Ha--

There are stickers and magnets out there that says, Running, cheaper than Therapy and I can totally get that. And it works for any exercise.

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Old 01-15-2011, 06:01 PM   #7
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For me, it depends on what I'm doing.

If I'm doing cardio, then music helps a lot. It helps me keep a certain pace since I have a tendency to step to the beats. Also, the beat can give you a goal, something to keep up with.

If I'm doing strength training or yoga, I do better without music. When doing things like that, you need to keep count, and music is just a distraction from your counting, or at least it is for me.
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:05 PM   #8
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I run and weight train without music too... For running I listen to my breathing and it becomes a sort of mantra...
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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I love the idea of running without music, because I do think it would be more in-tune, but I'm so used to using music to push me through that I have a hard time without it. Habit.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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When I'm outside, I love to run without music. On the treadmill though? Gotta have it. I actually like to lift to classical music. I find it very peaceful.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #11
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I tried for a long time to run with music, but I found that I was always trying to match my stride to the beat of the tunes and it's not always easy to find exactly the right beat. So I stopped running with music, and it was MUCH easier. I'm not running right now because it's solid ice and snow outside, but when I start back up, I'll do podcasts if I need something to listen to while I run.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:34 PM   #12
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Interesting observation. I'm going to try running without music sometime soon!
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #13
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I have a hard time running without my ipod, but I have noticed that I can go longer if I listen to a podcast instead of music. Interesting!
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