Music & Movement: How To Make Your Walks More Enjoyable

Key Points

  • Music for walking workouts improves your endurance and exercise enjoyment.

  • Design a walking playlist by selecting songs that range from 90 to 145 BPM.

  • Invite friends, listen to podcasts, be adventurous, and create a fun music playlist for your walking workout. 

Walking is seriously underrated. It’s great for active recovery, injury prevention, and mental health. Current and aspiring walkers, do you want to revive your exercise routine? You need the right music for your walking workout!

Catchy tunes guide your stride speed and motivate you to overcome mental barriers. Whether you’re a rock fanatic, pop enthusiast, rap lover, country queen, or something else entirely, picking good music for your walking workout changes the game.

Why Should You Listen to Music While Walking?

Music is a total mood booster. When you listen to your favorite songs, your brain releases dopamine. Couple that with the serotonin you get from exercise, and talk about a double dose of happy hormones! 

Jamming out while working out helps you associate positive feelings with exercise. Good music adds a little pep to your step and enhances your walking experience. Seriously, how can you not smile while strolling to Shania Twain? 

Those are just a fraction of the benefits.

Sports and exercise psychology professor Costas Karageorghis says, “Music is like a legal drug for athletes. It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”

Woman walking while listening to music

Music encourages you to keep a set pace and keeps your feet on beat, gradually improving your endurance. Strolling to a steady tempo upgrades your walking speed and rhythm. It also refines your stride length, protecting your muscles from strains and injuries. 

Synchronizing your steps to a cadence keeps you focused, determined, and accountable. Music is like your own personal audio coach. The catch? You customize a playlist to your preferences. From genre to artist to beats per minute (BPM) (more on this later), tailor your walking workout to your fitness goals. 

Exercise is a mind game. Music affects how your brain perceives physical fatigue. It distracts you from the normal aches, pains, and discomforts of working out. As a result, you push harder and go longer, often without even realizing it! 

Exercising without music is like eating warm, freshly-baked cookies without a cold glass of milk. Do you still enjoy the cookies? Sure — but not to the fullest extent possible. Deep down, you know something is missing. 

Like the dynamic duo of milk and cookies, music makes exercise more palatable and enjoyable. 

Bonus? When you genuinely have fun, forming a lasting habit is easier.

What’s the Best Type of Music for Walking?

The best walking music is safe, effective, and motivating. Rock, pop, dance music, reggaeton, hip-hop, Latin, and more genres are all welcome. Pick music that triggers happy memories, hypes you up, and gives you a competitive edge.

Songs with a strong beat and inspiring lyrics are best. Your body instinctively moves to the beat of the music, especially for those with a background in dance, cheer, marching band, theater, or choir. 

Not sure where to start? Select music within a specific BPM range. A BPM assigns a numerical value to a given tempo and aligns with your intended walking pace. The most common walking paces range from 120 to 140 BPM

Find music by BPM on PaceDJ,, Spotify, or the BPM app. PaceDJ lets you create custom interval workouts and adapts music to your desired tempo. detects your walking speed and automatically locates playlists to match it. Technology is mind-blowing, right?

Search for pre-made walking playlists on Spotify with various styles, artists, and BPMs.

Don’t mind doing a little playlist homework? Download the BPM app. Play the music you love and use its tap feature to identify each song’s BPM. Every time you hear a pulse, tap the center of the screen. Do this five to ten times until you get a consistent number. Read the BPM at the top right corner. Tada!

Woman walking with headphones

How To Design a Walking Playlist

Gather songs with different BPM ranges to reflect each phase of your walking workout. Organize the playlist by BPM for varied intensity. Design a progressive flow that’s challenging but achievable. Most walks contain a warm-up, moderate walking pace, brisk walking pace, and a brief cool down.

The BPM ranges for each phase include:

  • Warm-up: 90 to 115 BPM

  • Moderate walking pace: 115 to 130 BPM

  • Brisk walking pace: 130 to 145 BPM

  • Cool down: 90 to 115 BPM

Decide how long you intend to walk and break your workout into musical increments. Going on a 30-minute walk? That’s about 7 to 10 songs. 45-minutes? Build a 10 to 12-song playlist spanning from 90 to 145 BPM. 

Track your walk by the number of songs instead of miles or minutes. Why? Imagine you’re nearing the end of your walk. Sweat beads race down your temples, your heart pounds against your chest, and the sun sizzles against your skin. You down a few sips of water, willing yourself to finish strong despite the struggle.

At that very moment, what sounds more doable to you? Four more songs or one more mile? Mentally tricking yourself is critical.

Pro Tip: Your ideal BPM range depends on your age, fitness level, and speed preference. Adjust as needed.

What Are Popular Workout Songs?

According to Lean Indian Academy founder Juggy Sidhu, “Your music choices may help you as a distraction tool from the hill climbs you may experience, where the legs burn just a little more and you feel slightly breathless, or it can act as a powerful motivator for you to increase your walking intensity and push through."

Your musical taste plays a vital role in choosing the right songs for your walking workout. Want to love your workout? Love your music. 

Popular song ideas for each walking phase include:

Warm Up/Cool Down

  • “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani, BPM: 110

  • “One Dance” by Drake, BPM: 104

  • “Say So” by Doja Cat, BPM: 110

  • “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift, BPM: 96

  • “Stronger” by Kanye West, BPM: 104

Moderate Walking

  • “I Gotta Feeling” by The Black Eyed Peas, BPM: 128

  • “OMG” by Usher, BPM: 130

  • “TiK ToK” by Kesha, BPM: 120

  • “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna, BPM: 123

  • “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus, BPM: 118

Brisk Walking

  • “I Like It” by Cardi B, BPM: 134

  • “bad guy” by Billie Eilish, BPM: 136

  • “Toxic” by Britney Spears, BPM: 143

  • “7/11” by Beyoncé, BPM: 136

  • “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry, BPM: 132

How To Have Fun on Your Walks

Walking gets stale and tedious, especially when repeating the same thing. Good news? You don’t have to resort to autopilot mode just to get through your walks. There are plenty of creative ways to spice up your walking routine.

Woman with ear buds and yoga mat

Create a Fire Playlist

Music is your number-one sidekick. Make sure your playlist is on point!

A fire playlist gets you going like nothing else. It’s motivating, energizing, and stress-relieving. 

What do you enjoy listening to? What songs have you involuntarily bobbing your head and singing along? Go with those.

Here’s a sample walking workout playlist with intervals:

  1. “Milkshake” by Kelis, BPM: 113

  2. “Cool Girl” by Tove Lo, BPM: 102

  3. “Money In The Grave” by Drake ft. Rick Ross, BPM: 102

  4. “Juice” by Lizzo, BPM: 122

  5. “Circles” by Post Malone, BPM: 120

  6. “I’m Good” by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha, BPM: 122

  7. “Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects, BPM: 144

  8. “Womanizer” by Britney Spears, BPM: 140

  9. “brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo, BPM: 124

  10. “The Business” by Tiësto, BPM: 118

  11. “Cuff It” by Beyoncé, BPM: 116

  12.  “Party In The U.S.A” by Miley Cyrus, BPM: 94

  13. “Throw Fits” by G-Eazy and London on da Track, BPM: 104

  14. “Levitating” by Dua Lipa, BPM: 102

Duration: 45 minutes

Dig this playlist? Feel free to use it!

Invite a Friend

Friends make everything better. Walking with a buddy gives you time to catch up, go on adventures, and have meaningful conversations. 

As you venture through the outside world together, stop to grab smoothies, pick flowers, or check out the local farmer’s market. Is the weather nice? Bring a basket full of goodies, lay out a blanket, and enjoy a delicious picnic. 

Watch the sunset, document the occasion with a selfie, and — if your schedule allows –make plans to walk together once or twice a month. It's soul-refreshing and provides you both something to continually look forward to.

Three woman on a walk

Listen to a Podcast

Podcasts are accessible, thought-provoking, educational, inspiring, and entertaining. They stimulate mental imagery, enhancing your imagination and creativity.

Plugging into a podcast while walking improves your listening and multi-tasking skills. Podcasts activate different brain areas and discourage you from checking out during your walk. 

The best part? They’re free! There’s a genre for everyone: true crime, business, sports, faith, comedy, books, movies, politics, mental health, and more. 

Walking Tip: Download an episode that complements your desired walking duration. Planning a 25-minute walk? Select a 25-minute episode.

Make a Pit Stop

Are your usual errand spots near your house? Travel there on foot instead of by car. Walk to the grocery store, coffee shop, bookstore, or salon and home again. Check exercise and productivity off your daily to-do list!

Explore New Routes

Parks, gorgeous neighborhoods, nearby trails, town squares — you name it. Zest up your walk by finding safe, new areas to explore. Soak up your surroundings and pay attention to features you haven’t noticed before.

Think about where you’d move if you won the lottery. Stroll in your dream suburbia and appreciate the beautiful architecture, greenery, fountains, and houses you see.

Woman in workout clothes with water bottle

Let Your Dog Tag Along

Do you have a furry bestie? If so, dog-walking workouts are perfect bonding opportunities. They keep your pup happy, healthy, and mentally stimulated. Dog walks also allow you to train and play with your dog, load up on vitamin D, and earn a satisfying workout.

Get creative by incorporating squats, lunges, toe taps, and Russian twists into your outdoor walking adventure. Heading to a dog-friendly park, beach, or open field? Pack a ball or frisbee and throw the toy as far as possible. While your dog races to retrieve it, squeeze in as many burpees, jumping lunges, or mountain climbers as you can. 

Set Rewarding Goals

Instead of wandering the block aimlessly, set achievable goals that excite you. Gradually increase your total walking time or distance. Do this by adding one to two songs to your weekly playlist. If you’re a podcast enthusiast, go with a slightly longer episode. 

Looking to up your walking intensity? Insert more brisk walking pace songs (130 to 145 BPM) into your playlist. Minimize your recovery periods by including shorter or fewer moderate-pace songs. 

Add a Little Extra 

PSA: You’re not limited to just walking.

Store a jump rope, resistance bands, or light dumbbells in a backpack or fanny pack to diversify your workout. Once you reach a spacious destination (park, playground, or parking lot), pull out your exercise equipment and train for five to ten minutes.

Jump rope workouts let you reconnect with your childlike spirit, tone your full body, and support healthy weight loss. Even better? They’re convenient, affordable, and portable. 

Resistance band exercises sculpt your arms, core, and legs. They use oppositional force to build your muscles as you move through a full range of motion. Lateral walks, lat pulldowns, and one-arm chest presses are simple and effective.

Two-pound dumbbells are great for targeting your upper body. Perform bicep curls, overhead presses, narrow rows, and tricep kickbacks to fire up every muscle in your arms! 

Prefer not to carry anything? Do some bodyweight exercises instead. Burpees, high planks, jumping jacks, and walking lunges get the job done.

If you don't plan to stop anywhere, implement the above moves after every other song or halfway through your walk. Experiment until you find a combination that works for you. 

Girl on a walk with music

Music & Movement: The Perfect Pair

Music is a motivational tool and mental hack all in one. It empowers you to push through challenging moments and distracts you from the intensity of your struggle.

The iconic Mary Poppins once said, “Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” The same concept applies to walking. All you need is an earful of music to help the exercise go down — “in a most delightful way.” 

Follow the above advice to elevate your walking workouts with music, podcasts, buddies, furry friends, and more. Happy walking!

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