Studies have shown that music helps you sweat harder and train better. Among the wealth of research out there on exactly why, scientists have discovered music distracts you from bodily pain so you can push just one more rep. You work harder when listening to faster beats, and upbeat songs make you want to move even more; Music has even been shown to improve performance of simple tasks — perfect for raising and lowering that barbell. Spotify – the monolithic music streaming service that just landed in the UAE in November – has released annual research that looked across the 43.5 million workout-themed playlists on the company’s platform. Check them out, find some oldies and new tunes, and maybe add a few to your playlist for a new year boost.
Eminem is in – still
Women are from Mars
Bruno Mars, that is. The top song for women in workout playlists is Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk. Another interesting insight? Women over the age of 30 stream more workout music than men.
Ice, ice baby
Cryotherapy and ice bath-themed playlists – yes, Spotify has cryotherapy and ice bath-themed playlists – are hot this year. The top song in these playlists is Vanilla Ice’s Ice Ice Baby and Foreigner’s Cold As Ice. Frozen’s Let It Go makes an appearance as well.
Sweden is serene
There’s considerable difference across countries in terms of workout playlists and styles. Sweden showed a real enthusiasm for yoga-based playlists, while Finland was the most active country in terms of workout music.
The top songs of all time are…
Eminem and Kanye. Eminem dominates the top two with Till I Collapse (also top in the 13 to 34 age category) and that perennial motivator, 2009’s Lose Yourself, while Kanye is three and four with Stronger and Power. Can’t Hold Us – a 2013 tune by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – takes the fifth spot. The top workout song among ages 35-54 is, no surprise, Survivor’s 1982 tune Eye of the Tiger, which was forever linked with pushing through limits when Sylvester Stallone chose it for the third film in his trilogy, Rocky III.
The top songs of 2018 are…
A little different. God’s Plan by Drake is on top, followed by I Like It by Cardi B and Till I Collapse by Eminem. Nice for What by Drake and One Kiss by Dua Lipa hit four and five respectively.
Those summer days
July can be a bit toasty in the UAE, and it turns out we’re not the only ones sweating — globally, July is the most active month, meaning that’s when workout playlists were streamed the most. The least active month is November.
Aerobics is in
Maybe it’s part of the overall nostalgia vibe at the moment (hello, low-rise denim, high-cut leggings and dad sneakers), because aerobics is in again. Other workout trends that have emerged on Spotify include jumping rope, yoga, interval training and – yes, it’s true – cryotherapy and ice bathing.
And if you’re feeling inspired…
Plenty of UAE boutique fitness studios are doing special themed DJ rides. This is most common in spin studios (check out Motion Cycling, Flywheel and Crank, all which have occasional DJ rides). The HIIT-focused F45 in Dubai Marina and Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi both have DJs on Friday. And to create the music instead of just listening, check out Poundfit UAE. This unique workout hands you drumsticks and gets you rocking out to some seriously sweaty beats.
Featured photo: Spotify
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist and globally recognized influencer and leader in the body acceptance movement.