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Lapses in Cadence: Music, Workouts and Asthma

A bunch of years ago I bought a mini-trampoline. If I recall correctly, I was out with my friend Donald and we took it home from Wal-Mart on the bus, and then he carried it the rest of the way to my house for me. Since then, the trampoline has found its way to my aunts house, and back to my house. It has lived in my home office (since before it was my home office) with and without its legs on, and at present, it’s actually living in my rec room as my parents have both started using it.

Despite my often cranky knee, dancing and the trampoline are still my favorite ways to get active. I wasn’t sure how my knee would respond to the trampoline, but I took it for a spin a couple times last week (one in the middle of dancing because I am ridiculous), and it seemed to be okay.

Finding the playlist, and the tempo

The problem, however, was my typical music playlists don’t work well for rebounding (the fancy name for jumping on a tiny trampoline). Songs with punchy drums and/or guitars work best for me, I find. In my 50 minute purely trampoline workout last week, I spent the time enjoying my bluetooth earphones but with my phone nearly constantly in my hand as I’ve yet to reconstruct a trampoline playlist.

These lapses in cadence were perhaps not great for my workout itself, but I find that whenever the music slows down (or stops) enough that I fall out of rhythm with whatever I was doing, these are the perfect opportunities to give my lungs a brief chance to recover at least a bit before carrying on. I’ve found this to be the case while dancing, too, that in those moments between songs, or while the music is still in the “building”, I can slow down and catch my breath a bit, and then re-build into the intensity that is more fun for the rest of me to be at, but not as easy on my lungs. The natural waxing-and-waning of music—lapses in cadence—I think may be what help me to be able to push through longer workouts with my lungs.

A sample playlist, from a lack of one.

Lacking a playlist, as I bounced/ran/whatever-ed on the trampoline, my mind was constantly churning for a punchy enough song to be my next pick.

I can’t really remember my warm-up music but I know it included The Sound of Winter by Bush. Then I moved on to Pistola by Incubus (skipping the awesome but not percussive bit at the beginning). Perhaps Anti-Pop by Matthew Good. And if I didn’t turn up Blankest Year by Nada Surf (NSFW*, BTW), I don’t know what I was doing.

*This would be “not safe for work” (sans earphones, anyway), or for in the presence of small children. The first word is the one that starts with F, so I warned you.

Here’s what I downloaded during my 50-minute workout:

And of course, next time I hit the trampoline, I’m going to have to find these all over again—hopefully, I’ll pull ‘em all into a playlist before then!

When I’m dancing, I have about 4 or 5 playlists on my phone at the ready. I have another one for “other workouts”. Often these are built with a warm-up and cool-down built in so I don’t have to touch my phone (well, unless I get bored!). I make these playlists, too, with tempo variances to allow my lungs a bit of recovery time. The best part of having playlists at the ready is the ease with which I can add to them when a new tune that will work for me.

While many would take lapses in cadence as a downfall to a song’s inclusion in their workout playlist, they work for me and my lungs!

(How) do you use music—and such lapses in cadence—as a tool when working out with asthma?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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