Aug 9, 2009

Great Songs for Walking (110-120 BPM)

Finding beats for my feets

In my quest to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, I have taken up walking as a form of exercise. Lately I have been walking 3-4 miles per day, and I find that listening to my iPod makes the time go by faster.

I also found that certain songs have beats quite conducive to walking, and I started making mental notes of these tunes, especially the music that would sync up with my steps. I began to wonder if there was a way to quantify the tempo of these songs, and I discovered the program beaTunes, which analyzes and provides the beats per minute (BPM) of every song in your iTunes library.

However, the beaTunes process took an estimated 12 hours to run the course of my 9,000 song iTunes library, and all I really wanted was a few dozen songs to make a playlist. I started search for song lists with BPM for given songs, which was a heckuva lot faster than analyzing every song for precise BPM.

The following is a list of songs and their BPM that I find useful in keeping a fast-walking pace, one that translates into something like a 4 mph pace. Feel free to offer other suggestions in the Comments section.

"Trampled Under Foot," Led Zeppelin (110 BPM)
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?" Chicago (118 BPM)
"Saturday in the Park," Chicago (115 BPM)
"Penny Lane," The Beatles (113 BPM)
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," The Beatles (114 BPM)
"Getting Better," The Beatles (118 BPM)
"Sympathy for the Devil," Rolling Stones (116 BPM)
"Stand," REM (110 BPM)
"Orange Crush," REM (121 BPM)
"Badlands," Bruce Springsteen (122 BPM)
"I Saw Her Again Last Night," the Mamas and the Papas (122 BPM)

It is also a smart idea to blend faster and slower songs. 10 BPM does not sound like much, but it is the difference between a brisk walk and one that borders on a slow jog. I like pairing two faster songs with a slower song in between, which gives me 7-8 minutes of heightened aerobics with a 3-4 minute breather at 110 BPM or so.


Anonymous said...

120 bpm is the tempo (speed) of most march music - 2 beats per second. Sounds like you've just naturally found that!

Middle Aged Woman said...

One of my favorites for walking or the elliptical is the main theme (called He's A Pirate) from Pirates of the Caribbean. I don't know the BPM, but it does get me fired up.

9258 Photo said...

Mike look in the Genius feature on iTunes if you use it. And look into getting a nike+ if you have a nano.

Mad Jack said...

I recommend music from any of the following composers:

Patrick Sarsfield Gilmore, Father of The American Band.
Patrick Conway
Giuseppe Creatore (The Great Creatore)
William Christopher Handy (W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues")
John Philip Sousa, "The March King".
Professor Harold Hill, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

The last entry may inspire you to run rather than walk.

Xorri said...

There are podcasts out there that are great to work out to. In the iTunes search window, type in Podrunner or Groovelectric. Both have great walking/running music. He came out with Podrunner intervals this year and they are awesome and FREE!!!!

Carol said...

I, too, love Podrunner. 140 bpm = 4 mph or 15 minute mile. DJ Steve keeps me focused and on track (no pun intented).