Over the past 12 years, this question generated a number of studies to discover just that. The conclusion? Listening to the right kind of workout music can take you there.

“Just like music, exercise is about the frequencies and the rhythms that contribute to the beats per minute (BPM) [in a song],” explains Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and coauthor of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life. “Songs on a playlist based on a tune’s BPM can be very effective for boosting your alertness level and motivating you during athletic activities.”

According to Mindlin, the best exercise tunes have hard-driving, easy-to-follow beats that activate the brain and allow muscle movement to match the music’s rhythm. In general, she suggests the following BPM guidelines: slow workouts, warm-ups and cool-downs: 100; strolling, 115 to 120; power walking and cardio, 130 to 140; jogging, 135 to 160; running at moderate speed, 150 to 175; running fast and sprinting, 175+. (You can find free BPM apps online.)

Adds Mindlin: “And for best results, pick songs you really like.”