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Encore: A Basic Training Workout Mix


If you are one of the many Americans who resolved to spend more time at the gym in 2015, we have a little extra inspiration to help you stick with your new workout plan.


OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: (Singing) Let's get physical, physical. I wanna get physical. Let's get into physical. Let me hear your body...

INSKEEP: That, of course, is the 1980s workout track, "Physical," by Olivia Newton-John. A couple of years ago, we started compiling our Ultimate NPR Workout Mix, a playlist designed to get your body moving. Olivia Newton-John was the first person we asked to tell us what tracks inspire her to get up and move.

NEWTON-JOHN: One is The Rolling Stones' "Browns Sugar," always love that. Every time that comes on and I'm in a club, I have to get up.


THE ROLLING STONES: (Singing) Brown sugar, how come you taste so good?


We went on to hear from all sorts of people about the music that makes the move. Among them, First Lady Michelle Obama, Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan, tennis stars the Bryan brothers, the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and a mailman from Florida.


MAROON 5: (Singing) You want the moves like Jagger. I've got them moves like Jagger. I've got them moves like Jagger.

GREENE: Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" was the workout track picked by Lieutenant Colonel Sheryl Dacy.

INSKEEP: When we spoke with her in May of 2012, she was stationed at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. And she was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan as an Army nurse.


LIEUTENANT COLONEL SHERYL DACY: I think music is vitally important for trading. It allows me to put my mind somewhere else off of sometimes the physical pain, or discomfort, or ache or just boredom.

INSKEEP: Exercising is not optional for Lieutenant Colonel Dacy. Like everybody else in the Army, she has to pass an annual physical fitness test or face a discharge.

DACY: It's a job requirement. It's a condition of employment. You can't just say, oh, well, today I'm tired. I really don't feel like going to the gym. You realize that you have to go, and you have to maintain that level of physical readiness.

INSKEEP: Dacy prefers training mostly inside, doing sit-ups, lifting upper body weights, peddling on the stationary bike and jogging on the treadmill. And what are the other songs that get her moving?

DACY: I like Garth Brooks' "Callin' Baton Rouge."


GARTH BROOKS: (Singing) Operator, won't you put me on through? I gotta send my love down to Baton Rouge. Hurry up. Won't you put her on the line? I gotta talk to the girl just one more time.

INSKEEP: And one final pick, a classic.


FRANKIE VALLI AND THE FOUR SEASONS: (Singing) Oh, what a night, late December back in '63. What a very special time for me. As I remember, what a night.

INSKEEP: That's "December 1963," better known as "Oh What A Night," by Frankie Valley and The Four Seasons days in the last pick for Lieutenant Colonel Sheryl Dacy's last pick for the Ultimate NPR Workout Mix.

GREENE: And now we would like to hear from you. So tweet us what songs will help you get moving in 2015. You can tweet us, @MorningEdition. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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