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Can You Run to Holiday Music?

It's the most wonderful time of the year: You can watch Love Actually on loop, drink mulled wine by the fire, and, of course, listen to holiday music on repeat.

While those first two are best saved for post-workout relaxing, your run is the perfect time to blast holiday tunes. Past research has shown that songs with faster tempos and motivational lyrics can boost running performance by increasing your speed—and holiday music is no exception.

"If you're creating a holiday workout playlist, the same rules apply as a regular playlist," says Spotify trend expert Shanon Cook. "It needs to be upbeat and you want to rely on songs with lyrical affirmations that put you in a positive frame of mind." Elvis's "Blue Christmas"? Skip. Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas"? Absolutely!

We asked Cook to put together a running playlist to help you reach your peak and feel full of seasonal joy. She recommends warming up with Christina Aguilera's "Christmas Time", which has slightly lower beats per minute (BPM), and cooling down with Sufjan Stevens's "Joy To The World," an acoustic track with a slower pace.

Not a runner? Try downloading one of Cook's other top picks for the studio class of your choice:

Cardio Dance: "Sleigh Ride," Pentatonix
"A strong rhythmic beat and an average bpm of 115 make this song ideal for a cardio dance workout," Cook says.

Yoga: "Silver Bells," She and Him
"Featuring just a guitar and vocals, this track is so soft and gentle that it won't detract from your focus," Cook says.

HIIT: "Must Be Santa" by LeAnn Rimes
"This track is super fast, averaging 155 bpm, and is packed with cheer, making it a great motivator during an intense workout."

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