By this weekend, it will officially be summer. Although I don’t think we needed June 21st to alert us of the transition – packed patios, summer softball, thick humidity and consequently inexplicable hair have been doing a fine job of that – it’s significant to note that the temperamental spring weather might be behind us and we can safely unstick our noses from the rain drenched windows and get outside.
As far as I’m concerned, one of the best and most adult ways to play outside is to say goodbye to the months of monotonous pedalling on the treadmill or elliptical and hit the city pavement for a much-needed change of scenery. Although the convenience of having a gym at work or in your building might appear to trump any kind of fitness that involves steering away from home – I think most people would agree that by taking your workouts elsewhere, you’ll actually find them more diverse, stimulating and painless than operating within the four walls of a crowded gym.
Although some will always argue that music has no effect on physical training, that’s all fine and well – but I beg to differ that those people just haven’t been listening to the right music. In fact, the rest of the population (and I) would go as far as to say that a scientific selection of music enhances the entire fitness experience by feeding the physical appetite and motivation of anyone pumping iron. The rhythm and structure of the music, combined with our flying feet and the cadence of our rising heartbeat works wonders on our effectiveness and endurance during exercise – allowing us to (literally) stay on track and maintain stamina when our mind is telling us to quit. I mean, have you ever turned down the gym because you forgot your headphones? Guilty.
Another added benefit of taking your tunes and tours to the city streets? For myself, I’m only three months into my Toronto inhabitancy and although I’ve become very well-versed in my surroundings – even a longstanding Toronto resident can never know everything the city, or even their own neighbourhood, has to offer. So to be able to lace up, breathe in fresh air, get my heart rate soaring and find a stretch of green grass to call my own at the end – sounds like a little slice of heaven.
While I’m taking my continued discovery of Toronto on the road – jaunting through the whacky side streets of Kensington Market, breezing through the Queen’s Park paths or exploring the foliage-filled Rosedale neighbourhood – these are the songs that are going to keep me going, going and going. For longer.
1. I Love You So – Jay-Z (sampling Cassius)
2. Mondo ’77 – Looper
3. Set It Off – Diplo
4. You’ll Find A Way – Santigold (Switch remix)
5. Strange Times – The Black Keys
6. Play Your Part Pt.1 – Girl Talk
7. Roman Reloaded – Nicki Minaj feat. Lil’ Wayne
8. Gifted – N.A.S.A. feat. Kanye West, Lykke Li and Santigold (Aston Shuffle remix)
9. How You Like Me Now? – The Heavy
10. I Love It – Icona Pop