I was pleased to recently read that running an hour a week extended your life roughly three years and that running three hours a week didn’t increase longevity any more than running one hour. Over the past year I’ve been working on increasing my speed. I can run a mile or two at 8 minutes a mile but anything over two miles I run at 8 minutes 10 seconds. I’m probably just being a bit lazy. I’ll get there.

My running speed is not only affected by motivation. I’ve noticed that if someone is running or even walking on a treadmill next me I stay motivated to run faster and longer – the competitive person that I am. And music makes a big difference as well.

Having grown tired of the songs on my running playlist I recently added some news songs in an effort to keep myself interested – upbeat, not particularly reflective music that you can imagine yourself dancing too. First run I could tell a difference.

A recent Bloomberg Businessweek article reviewed a study conducted by researchers at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management that confirms my experience, but not just for exercise. The type of music we listen to affects our health and our productivity. “Listening to In Da Club” by 50 Cent, “…makes people feel more powerful and makes them act as if they have more control over random events.”

I’ve found and observed that lack of autonomy and control is a consistent theme in dissatisfaction with my work. Perhaps I should switch out my routine of reading The Economist on the train to listening to my running playlist