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Livin' La Vida Fitness

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We're only a few months removed from a rough winter, and if you're anything like me, you spent it hibernating in front of the TV and guzzling chocolatey hot drinks. A few months later, you wake up to summer, and ouch! It's time to hit the gym.

To be honest, I'd prefer to do almost anything rather than go to the gym. I'd rather do my taxes while seated at the dentist's chair than plod along on that treadmill. One of the few things that sustain me when I muster the effort to trudge into my local gym is an iPod full of great songs.

In this week's installment of Alt.Latino: great workout music. From a Colombian group whose hotness has the fire department on standby to a South American female MC making an unusually mischievous request, these tunes will get your heart racing in no time. Also, my cohost Felix Contreras, who turns out to be the Latin Richard Simmons (who knew?), shares his workout tips.

As always, we want to hear from you. What workout songs are on your iPod? Help us build the perfect fitness mix tape!

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Escribeme Pronto

Here's a great warm-up song by the creative geniuses in Mexican Institute of Sound. "Escribeme Pronto (Write Me Back Soon)" mashes up slow mambo, electronica and singer Camilo Lara's whiny love pleas: "Write me back, write me back, write me back soon / I am a good, patient man, but I'm not a fool." It'll get your blood pumping while the band's natural good humor puts a smile on your face.


It's flamenco! It's reggae! It's dancehall! Actually, it's Macaco, a group which boasts members from all over the world and the eclectic styles to match. With stomping dancehall beats, reggae vocals and flamenco yelps, this song makes us feel like we're going for a jog around the world.

El Tigeraso

Here's a club favorite to get you grooving on a treadmill. In this mix of merengue and electronica, Maluca addresses all Tigeres ("Tigers" is Dominican slang for confident, sexy, stylish, street-smart dudes). Maluca wants them to know she's fly, she's got the party, she's got that sabrosura (flavor). And if, even after hearing her raspy whisper, you don't believe how much sabrosura she's got, check out her music video and you'll be convinced.

Jalame La Tanga

She wants you to do whaaaat? Argentine rapper Miss Bolivia, whose name pays tribute to Bolivian culture in Argentina, mixes cumbia, electronica and street sounds. If her sick beats don't get your heart racing, her spicy lyrics might -- yes, she's asking you to snap her thong.


We picked this song by the Colombian rising stars in Bomba Estereo for that moment during the workout in which every single muscle in your body burns like you're on fire. The Bomba kids know how powerful their fusion of traditional and new music is. They themselves sing, "Here I bring an atomic bomb / a mix of electronica and folklore songs!"

Bring Back the Love [Shrift Mix]

You made it through the workout! Now it's time to stretch -- or, if you're anything like Jaz, go grab a cheeseburger. But if instead you decide to stretch, there's nothing like Brazilian singer Bebel Gilberto's soothing voice over slow beats. It'll have you thinking you're stretching on a remote beach.

Jasmine Garsd is an Argentine-American journalist living in New York. She is currently NPR's Criminal Justice correspondent and the host of The Last Cup. She started her career as the co-host of Alt.Latino, an NPR show about Latin music. Throughout her reporting career she's focused extensively on women's issues and immigrant communities in America. She's currently writing a book of stories about women she's met throughout her travels.