Your P.E. teacher was right about one thing — it pays to warm up before the big game. Nowadays, you're probably more likely to have a butt-kicking CrossFit class to attend than any kind of actual team sport, but the importance of warming up remains the same.
As tempting as it is to go straight to the weights, warming up is integral to a good workout. For one thing, it helps raise your heart rate and body temperature gradually: Most warm-up routines will start with slower movements then build up to your regular pace. Easing your body into exercising, rather than cutting right to the most intense part of your routine, will decrease any unnecessary stress on your heart.
Now that you're convinced, you'll need a killer playlist that will make you want to move. You might think that music is just an add-on to a workout, something to make it feel more fun that ultimately makes no difference. But, a 2012 study linked synchronising exercise to music with greater efficiency. Any kind of playlist that you can keep up with will help you power through your workout, but research has found that up-tempo songs with strong beats are the most stimulating variety. If nothing else, that helps explain why you can't seem to jog without the second half of I Am... Sasha Fierce pumping in your earbuds.
If you don't already have a go-to mix of pump-up songs to gear up to the main event of your workout, look no further. Check out our warm-up playlist below — and get ready to bring the heat.