04/11/2012 06:22 am ET Updated Jun 10, 2012

HuffPost Workouts: Music for Motivation

Music is a powerful influence in our lives. It is the backdrop to everybody's life story. All of life's biggest experiences are done to the sound of music. If you strung the songs all together, you would have your complete life story. Imagine what kind of emotions listening to that CD would bring up! Use these positive memories that are associated with music to inspire you to start to MOVE.

My whole life has been inspired by music. I still feel the excitement of the very first time I took a ballet class, at the age of 3, when the music started blasting. I still feel the same even when I'm tired and have to find the motivation to teach a room full of people who are looking at me to inspire them. Amazing, as I put the music on suddenly I'm ready to rock!

Music and dance are pure soul food, rekindling the free spirit in all of us, breaking down inhibitions and releasing a sense of well-being. After a hard, stressful day it's amazing how music relaxes the body and drains tension.

Everyday I use music to motivate my clients to exercise and reach their goals. If the workouts are a little challenging for them, somehow the music can dull the pain and give them energy to finish their workout.

Remember, every minute counts so if you can only get away for 10 or 15 minutes that's OK. Don't blow it off. Get your tunes out, and off you go!

Tips on how I use music to help me get the most out of my workouts:

1. I download my favorite songs for the time-duration of my workout. Often we can cut our workouts short for no real reason. However, I've personally experienced more complete scheduled workouts when I've put together my favorite tunes, especially the ones toward the end of the play mix. Plus, I know they give me a second wind to finish my time-allotted workout

2. Vary the beats of the songs. For example, song number one is your warm-up, so choose a mid-tempo song. Then, as your workout starts revving up, increase your BPMs (beats per minute). At the end, start to slow it down so that you give yourself time to recover and stretch. It's important to remember our bodies naturally gravitate to the beat of the music so keep that in mind when selecting the music. I promise you will work out harder with more up-tempo songs!

  • The Time (Dirty Bit), The Black Eyes Peas (warm-up)
  • Cooler Than Me, Mike Posner
  • Turn Me On, David Guetta
  • Only Girl, Rihanna
  • On The Floor (feat Pitbull), Jennifer Lopez
  • Commander, Kelly Roland
  • Telephone, Lady Gaga
  • Mr Saxobeat, Alexandra Stan
  • Give It To Me, Madonna
  • It's My Life, No Doubt
  • DJ Got Us Fallin in Love, Usher
  • Rolling In The Deep, Adele (cool-down)

For more music, check out the rest of the HuffPost Workouts series here.