Great Songs for Walking (110-120 BPM)

Finding beats for my feets

In my quest to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, I have taken up walking as a form of exercise. Lately I have been walking 3-4 miles per day, and I find that listening to my iPod makes the time go by faster.

I also found that certain songs have beats quite conducive to walking, and I started making mental notes of these tunes, especially the music that would sync up with my steps. I began to wonder if there was a way to quantify the tempo of these songs, and I discovered the program beaTunes, which analyzes and provides the beats per minute (BPM) of every song in your iTunes library.

However, the beaTunes process took an estimated 12 hours to run the course of my 9,000 song iTunes library, and all I really wanted was a few dozen songs to make a playlist. I started search for song lists with BPM for given songs, which was a heckuva lot faster than analyzing every song for precise BPM.

The following is a list of songs and their BPM that I find useful in keeping a fast-walking pace, one that translates into something like a 4 mph pace. Feel free to offer other suggestions in the Comments section.

"Trampled Under Foot," Led Zeppelin (110 BPM)
"Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?" Chicago (118 BPM)
"Saturday in the Park," Chicago (115 BPM)
"Penny Lane," The Beatles (113 BPM)
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," The Beatles (114 BPM)
"Getting Better," The Beatles (118 BPM)
"Sympathy for the Devil," Rolling Stones (116 BPM)
"Stand," REM (110 BPM)
"Orange Crush," REM (121 BPM)
"Badlands," Bruce Springsteen (122 BPM)
"I Saw Her Again Last Night," the Mamas and the Papas (122 BPM)


It is also a smart idea to blend faster and slower songs. 10 BPM does not sound like much, but it is the difference between a brisk walk and one that borders on a slow jog. I like pairing two faster songs with a slower song in between, which gives me 7-8 minutes of heightened aerobics with a 3-4 minute breather at 110 BPM or so.

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