A typical gym routine looks something like this – walk to the locker room where music is playing over the loud speaker, lock your belongings away and walk towards the fitness center. As you approach your first machine or begin your first exercise, you choose your playlist and slide on your headphones.

Turning on music is often the first thing people do when they get to the gym and there’s a reason for it. It’s the good kind of distraction. Music distracts athletes from their body awareness making the stitch in their side less of a distraction.

The beat of the music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move which aids in self-paced exercise such as running and weight-lifting. We also often associate certain memories with songs or genres of music. This gives us a motivating mental distraction to continue the effort and shut out uninspired thoughts and fatigue.

After speaking with YMCA employees and members – here are some great options to include in your next workout session!


“When I Look At You” by Miley Cyrus – given by Mary Abdool from Schenectady YMCA

“Animal” by Miike Snow – given Anna Long from Schenectady YMCA

“Greater” by Mercyme – given by Melissa Piscitella from Schenectady YMCA

“Cheap Thrills” by Sia – given by Taylor Piscitella from Schenectady YMCA


“Eye Of The Storm” by Ryan Stevenson – given by Abby Vanderveen from Duanesburg YMCA

“Starving” by Hailee Steinfeld – given by Elizabeth Saddlemire from Duanesburg YMCA

“True Disaster” by Tove Lo – given by Adam Baker from Duanesburg YMCA

“This” by Collective Soul – given by Dan Carpenter from Schenectady YMCA



“Electric Feel” by MGMT – given by Laura Williams from Duanesburg YMCA

“It’s Gonna Be Okay” by The Piano Guys – given by Lisa Dana from Schenectady YMCA

“Jump In the Line” by Harry Belfonte – given by Dale Warner from Duanesburg YMCA