We all need a little help now and again to get our bums off the sofa - but if you know that you have an enjoyable playlist to work out to, it always helps.
Maybe we're showing our age here, but the cheesiest end of the '90s spectrum does wonders for our motivation. Here are ten of the best workout anthems from that era.
If you scroll to the end of the page, you'll find them combined in a Spotify playlist.
1) CHUMBAWAMBA – 'Tubthumping'
Let's start this workout with a feelgood tune that'll get the endorphins flowing. It's not for nothing that Tubthumping, the 1997 single by one-hit-wonders Chumbawamba, is still used on sports montages to this day. It's all about getting back up again, people. Now, GIVE ME TEN!
2) REDNEX – 'Cotton Eye Joe'
Now we're talking. Electro-hoedown, anyone? Believe it or not, Swedish dancepoppers Rednex managed to carve out a career that lasted long enough to release four (!) albums – but this, taken from their 1995 debut 'Sex and Violins' (!!) – is the, ahem, jewel in their crown.
3) THE SHAMEN – 'Ebeneezer Goode'
You may not have been old enough at the time to understand what 'Es are good' meant, but put the bad lifestyle message to the back of your mind and enjoy the music. This 1992 rave classic is known to induce a mass nostalgia trip when played around thirtysomethings at weddings. Put that energy to good use in the gym (but watch where you fling your arms).
4) CORONA – 'The Rhythm of the Night'
Back when the idea of fancy imported Mexican beer was scoff-inducing and the Danny O'Reilly-led Dublin band of the same name were still in short trousers, Corona ruled the charts. The Italian dancefloor deities released this stomper in 1994 and it's still a great dance tune – the perfect rhythm (har har) for a brisk session on the treadmill.
5) INNER CIRCLE – 'Sweat (A La La La La Long)'
Let's take the tempo down just a notch. This track by Jamaican reggae fusion act Inner Circle was a massive hit in 1992, even though the lyrics were pure durrrrrrty. Use this opportunity to take a breather. Take a walking break. Remember to swing your arms.
6) D: REAM – 'Things Can Only Get Better'
Right, we're onto big-time arm-swinging stuff here. We're marching on the spot now. Slow intro, gradual build to the chorus, then it's a full on, hands-in-the-air cheesy pop party, courtesy of this 1993 classic by Northern Ireland's D: Ream. Try to block out the fact that it was used as the election campaign anthem for Tony Blair in 1997. No time for politics, people. No time. Gotta work out.
7) ACE OF BASE – 'The Sign'
We're slowly building the tempo back up with this 1993 tune by Sweden's Ace of Base. A better track than 'All That She Wants', we reckon, and while enjoying the pleasant melody, take time to absorb the profound lyrics. Why, you're so right, Malin Berggren! Life is demanding without understanding.
8) DR. SPIN – 'Tetris'
OK, enough of that slow-burning anthemic stuff. Get your heart rate pumping, people. Any child of the eighties or nineties will have fond memories of the GameBoy classic Tetris, but some evil genius – known only by the moniker Dr. Spin (OK, OK, it was actually a pseudonym for Andrew Lloyd Webber and producer Nigel Wright – no joke) – came up with the perfect Eurodance tune based on the game's signature music. Unfortunately it's not on Spotify, but revel in its glory on YouTube.
9) JAZZY JEFF & THE FRESH PRINCE – 'Boom! Shake the Room'
Yes, yes and triple yes. It's impossible to dislike this song, which is what makes it perfect for a workout playlist. You're nearing the end of your gym shift, it's time to treat yourself. This song is clinically proven* to release feel-good endorphins as soon as the opening line hits: 'Yo, back up now and give a brother room / The fuse is lit, and I'm about to go…BOOM!'. Boom, indeed.
*may not be clinically proven
10) CULTURE BEAT – 'Mr. Vain'
It's time for one last push. C'mon, finish your workout on a high. Released in April 1993 by German Eurodance titans Culture Beat, this track hit the top of the charts all over the world. It's a cheesy pop stomper, and the perfect way to end a satisfying run/weights session/gym shift. Go on, go ahead and admire your results in the mirror. You are Mr./Mrs. Vain, but you've earned it.