I'm sure everyone has their favorite workout play list for when they want to be jazzed up about exercise and need something to keep them motivated. Music is definitely a good way to keep you working harder, faster and stronger (yes, that was a Daft Punk reference, don't act like they're not on your play list!).
On the other hand, I personally find, especially when I'm working out at the gym on machines, that when I'm playing the fast paced, heavy based music on my workout play list when my workout is over and I'm supposed to be cooling down, I often find it hard to get out of work out mode.
For example, I'm on the elliptical trainer. The machine switches from cardio mode to cool down mode and lowers the resistance. At this point Cold Play's Viva La Vida decides to shuffle through my iPod. If I listen to it, I will continue going at a cardio rate as per the beat of the song. I love playing this song in the middle of the work out when I've really reached my stride by the way. But at the end of a work out, not so much.
Not that a few extra calories burned is a bad thing, but cool downs are just as important to an exercise routine as the workout itself. They help to bring your heart rate down to a healthy resting pace, and help to prevent cramping and soreness after a workout.
To combat this, I began playing slower paced music during my cool down and it helps me to remember to keep a slower pace toward the end of my work out. Just as I have my workout mix on my iPod for my workout, I have my mellow mix (which I also play at times when I just need to hear calming music) for my cool down. Some of my favorite cool down songs are:
Edge of the Ocean by Ivy
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) by Nancy Sinatra
Colorblind by Counting Crows
The Girl from Ipanema by Astrud Gilberto :)
Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's
You'll even notice that work out tapes take this approach. They of course play fast pasted music during the cardio portion of the tape and more slow paced music toward the end. What do you think of the idea of cool down music? Is it something you use? Is it something you'd consider adding to your routine? What's on your cool down play list?