The Beat Goes On: How Music Affects Exercise

Hearing a song can trigger a memory or a feeling, and it can even provide motivation. If you have attended a sports event then you know that music helps to encourage the players and the fans. The tempo of the song, or the number of beats per minute (BPM), can also help you to correlate music with your target heart rate for exercise.

Find Your Target Heart Rate

The resting heart rate for adults is 60 – 100 BPM, but it can be much lower for athletes at 40 – 60 BPM. When exercising, you can improve your heart and lung fitness by reaching your target heart rate zone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, these are the target heart rate zones by age.

Age Target Heart Rate Zone: 50 – 75% Maximum Heart Rate: 100%
20 100-150 BPM 200 BPM
25 98-146 BPM 195 BPM
30 95-142 BPM 190 BPM
35 93-138 BPM 185 BPM
40 90-135 BPM 180 BPM
45 88-131 BPM 175 BPM
50 85-127 BPM 170 BPM
55 83-123 BPM 165 BPM
60 80-120 BPM 160 BPM
65 78-116 BPM 155 BPM
70 75-113 BPM 150 BPM

Find Your Beat

Once you find your zone, you can create or find a playlist that corresponds to your target heart rate. Memorial created a Spotify playlist to help get you started.

Make sure you cool down at the end of your workout. Listen to our Cool Down playlist to help bring your heart rate back to normal.

Need help getting started with exercise?

Speak with your doctor about an exercise regimen that works best for you, and if you need help, request a referral to physical therapy to get you started.

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