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Headed out the door for a walk or a run? Having trouble dredging up the energy to hit the gym? Well, be sure to grab your workout bestie – music, which should help motivate you!

Research has shown that listening to music gets you pumped during workouts, especially when the beats match the energy you’re exerting while, say, running, cycling, or performing other aerobic activities, the Washington Post reports.

“The metronome aspect, the synchronization of movement to music, is the most important,” Carl Foster, director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin at Lacrosse, says Gabriella Boston in The Post article.

How do you choose your workout beats? First, be sure to pick something that matches your activity. A single like Ciara’s “I’m Out,” which features Nicki Minaj, should help you to get it cranking.

Boston points to various helpful web sites that offer playlists for running and cycling, including Motion Traxx, Workout Music and Power Music.

“Music is positive energy,” Deekron “the Fitness DJ” Krikorian, who produces fitness playlists for MotionTraxx, tells Boston. “So when I put together playlists, I look for intensity, positive feeling and cohesiveness.”

First lady Michelle Obama combines music and fitness in her Let’s Move! campaign in an effort to help combat obesity and promote healthy living. In 2011, African Americans were 1.5 times as likely to be obese as Whites, according to statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Further, four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese in the U.S.

The statistics highlight why it’s important for African Americans to exercise, which has been shown to help fight obesity. So grab your bestie and dash out of the door.

If you’re already active, what do you like to listen to while working out? Please let us know in the comments section.

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