I think it must be my background as a singer & dancer, but I simply can't exercise without music - not just any music... It has to be the RIGHT music. I need my elliptical machine to feel like my own private disco and I can often be seen bopping my head, Flashdance style while working out. If it's not fun, I can't force myself to do it and the more exciting & upbeat the music is, the harder I work. I get really into it and not only that, it's great stress relief too!
As vital as the music choices are, it's important that they suit my workout speed as well. I often use the music to dictate my intervals. I speed up during faster songs or faster parts of songs and slow down when things get a bit more mellow, monitoring my heart rate along the way to make sure it's sustained at the appropriate rate. For me, this is the best way to achieve my fitness goals.
Whether you're a gym rat like me, need a good playlist for dancing around your house or a Saturday morning cardio cleaner, put these songs on shuffle and get the party started!