Totally Radical '80s Workout Montage
A daily routine that will get you out of bed and moving all day long!
Y’all. Am I the only one who doesn’t have a set workout routine? When I think of exercise, I don’t imagine a planned list neatly organized in sets of reps. If I tried to workout that way, I would give up after a week. Hour long pilates videos and weight-lifting have never worked out for me. Instead, I like to think of working out as a set of activities that I enjoy doing throughout the day. Everyday.
So think of this as an anti-workout playlist set to the backdrop of ‘80s spandex and glitter. All body positivity here, no focus on weight-loss, just feeling good and being active in whatever way fits your lifestyle. I'm going to outline a guide that will help you incorporate fitness into your everyday routine, with activity-based exercises that will have you burning calories without even realizing it!
Accompanying our active daily routine is a dope '80s playlist, that will get you moving from the moment you wake up, motivate you during intense activity throughout the day, and help you wind-down when it's getting close to bedtime. This playlist is a versatile mix of '80s super hits, new wave deep cuts, and feel-good bangers.
COVID-19 isn't going away anytime soon, and just the thought of doing crunches and leg lifts in my bedroom depresses me. But I know the benefits of exercising are important, it helps with depression, body aches, and boosts your immune system.
Instead of a tired guide to abs in 30 days, try out some of the activity-based exercises listed below. The tasks are separated into three categories: Warm-up, Heart-Racing, & Cool-Down. Each section has music that pairs with the activities involved.
And don't worry, everything suggested can be done solo, or social distanced. We all know group fitness and gyms are a no-go right now. (Wear a mask, y'all!)
Let’s put our binge-watching, and vegging-out aside, and jump into some hella righteous heart-thumping tasks. Break out the boombox, and escape with me into a 1980's fantasy!
Wake up & Warm up: Legwarmers and Tennis Shoes
The opening section of this playlist (songs 1-12) is designed to get you up and moving with light exercise to increase your heart rate.
Knock out the groggy sleepiness with Wham! Their upbeat classic, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is the perfect tune for starting your day. Throw back the covers, pull up the window shades, and get out of bed!
The next three tracks will get you on your feet and moving with tasks that involve walking around and getting your blood pumping.
A throwback MTV favorite, Missing Persons, "Walking in L.A." will keep the momentum up. Dale Bozzio's high-pitched valley girl twang is a great tune for getting dressed and ready to start your day.
"Walking on Sunshine" is a one-hit wonder from British girl group Katrina and the Waves. The song starts strong with high-tempo drum beats followed by cheery horns. The lyrics remind me of lazy beach days, and summer romance.
Let's go outside and walk around, maybe you want to take your pup on a nature walk, or just a brisk stroll around the block with your headphones blaring. Don't let the comfy bed and streaming services coax you back under the covers, Matthew Wilder's, "Break My Stride" will motivate you to continue moving.
Ain't nothin' gonna break-a my stride/ Nobody gonna slow me down, oh no/ I got to keep on movin'
Van Halen's "Jump" instructs us to get off our feet and into the air! Try playing on a trampoline, skipping some rope, or doing some jumping jacks to get that heart rate up.
I get up and nothin' gets me down/ You got it tough, I've seen the toughest around/ And I know, baby, just how you feel/ You got to roll with the punches and get to what's real
After your heart is pumping let's continue that momentum with something productive that will improve your mood and burn calories, cleaning! I love to make an ordeal out of cleaning. Blasting feel-good tunes, candles lit, comfy sweats, and dancing.
David Bowie's hit "Modern Love" is the perfect dancy tune to get you swirling through your house picking up dirty clothes, and throwing away week old take-out. When the house is clean reward yourself with a yummy breakfast and a fresh cup of coffee.
Before moving onto to the high-intensity daily activites we need to stretch our bodies. Olivia Newton-John's iconic '80s track "Physical" is a low-key tune to gently stretch your body to.
For more upbeat selections to start your day, check out the rest of the playlist for more hits by Hall & Oates, Prince, & The B-52's.
Heart-Racing: Dirty Dancing & Roller Babes
This section (songs 13- 24) is packed with high energy tracks to elevate your heart rate. Let's get sweaty and realease some feel-good endorphins.
A great way to rack up the intensity is by dancing, get your practice in now so that one day when we emerge from the pandemic you can impress everyone on the dance floor at '80's night.
Generation X's, "Dancing with Myself" is a lively punk song that encourages you to dance by yourself, which is very fitting for these Corona times. But if you really want to get your heart-racing check out Gloria Estefan's, "Conga". This track is perfect for practicing your solo salsa and bachata moves.
Or maybe you want to give your sweetie an intimate lap dance, or practice your moves swinging on a dance pole, if that's the case I suggest Warrant's hair-metal hit, "Cherry Pie"
This track was released in 1990, but give me some slack, the '80s are a mindset! And this is one of my favorite songs for getting pumped up and feeling good about myself when I'm dancing.
If dancing ain't your jam, try out the retro hobby that is sweeping the nation, roller skating. Break out your blades or quads and find an empty parking garage or a nature trail to get a fun full-body workout.
Skating is fun and affordable, you can get a nice pair of skates used, and they last a long time if you take care of them. Zoom around the parking lot or spin in circles to Madonna's, "Borderline". This twinkly disco hit is the perfect backdrop for rollerskating, not to mention it's so much fun to sing along to. (God I miss karaoke.)
Or up the intensity with a coordinated skate routine set to Irene Cara's, "What a Feeling". This soul classic will have you moving faster than Alex in Flashdance.
If dancing, and skating don't work for you, there's plenty of high intensity activities you can do around the house, or solo on the town. Try running errands on your bicycle, or reviving your weed infested garden. Or go a more traditional route with jogging and running. Check out the rest of the songs from this section to keep your heart racing, with music from The Pointer Sisters, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, & Dexys Midnight Runners.
Cool-Down: Water Sports and Wine Coolers
The final section of my '80's workout playlist (songs 25-36) features chill wind-down music for more laid back activities.
Bananarama's single, "Cruel Summer" is a fitting track to lounging on your social distanced beach blanket, and taking a dip in the ocean.
Or if you have access to a pool or a secluded lake, splash around to Tom Tom Club's iconic dance hit "Genius of Love". Don't forget to bring some wine coolers, you deserve to treat yourself!
If swimming or lounging by the pool isn't for you, I suggest other calming water activities like kayaking and canoeing. A low-key way to get exercise, and also a great excuse to enjoy the serenity of nature. Float down the river to the peaceful new wave sound of Galaxie 500's, "Tugboat".
Yoga is a great way to wind down after a long day. Try pairing your downward dog and child's pose to the synthy love-song hit by A Flock of Seagulls, "Space Age Love Song".
Or if you want to get more creative you can practice an interpretive dance routine to Alphaville's, "Forever Young"
If you need inspiration, check out Napoleon Dynamite's innovative dance moves. I've been picturing his dance routine since I started writing this article.
For more relaxing '80's downbeat tunes listen to the end of this playlist for songs by The Pet Shop Boys, Fleetwood Mac, The Jesus and Mary Chain, & Crowded House.
Workout Routine? Gag me with a Spoon!
As I said before, workout routines don't really work for me. And believe me, I've tried. Once I started embracing and loving the body I'm in, I stopped caring as much about having the perfect toned physique. But I didn't forget the importance of moving my body. Now when I exercise, I do it for me, not because I care what other people think.
The activity-based fitness ideas that I included work great for me, but maybe you have other ideas on how to keep moving throughout the day. Either way I highly recommend integrating movement into your daily routine. I've thrown out the hour long fitness programs, and created my own lasting daily routine that burns calories and makes me happy.
Also if you are having a rest day, throw this playlist on shuffle and enjoy a social distanced cocktail on your porch with a friend. Listen while treating yourself to a self-care bubble bath, or just jam out and dance by yourself in the living room. This is a playlist for all occasions, let it inspire you to get moving in whatever way works for you!