Have you ever had that feeling of hearing a certain tune and you just can’t help tapping your foot? Well, there is good reason. Music makes you want to move. Now, the concept of listening to music when you hit the gym to improve your workout isn’t exactly new. But understanding how your favourite tunes enhance your exercise is a little less obvious. There is more to the magic of music than just motivating you to move. So, join us for a quick read and “let the rhythm take you” as we look at 5 scientific reasons to listen to music when you work out.
1. Exercise with music is motivating
Let’s face it, who doesn’t need a little external boost every now and again? Music before and during exercise can help motivate you to get moving. There are four aspects within music that influence exercise effectiveness. They include the rhythm or beat of the music; the musicality, pitch or harmony; the cultural impact or what the music means within your society, and finally; any associations you have with that piece of music. These four aspects feed into your motivational drive. And that then affects your level of arousal, the perception of how hard you are working and finally your mood. Put simply, research shows that there’s no doubt that music can have a positive and motivating effect on how you exercise and ultimately how you’re feeling while you’re exercising. Cue the music!
Tip – Do an Active8me workout – the high intensity exercise and high tempo music will motivate you and take your enjoyment levels up a notch.
2. Exercise with music is the good kind of distraction
If exercise is something you struggle to embrace, you may need a little help from music in the initial stages of beginning an exercise regime. Plugging in your headphones can offer a distraction that dulls or masks fatigue associated with exercise. The consensus of studies suggest that the distraction of music allows you to push a little longer, which done regularly, improves your endurance. More than just casual distraction though, music can put you ”in the zone”. Everyone has that go-to-song that gets you ‘in the zone”. It is why athletes use music all the time. This is because they associate certain songs with memories which trigger emotions and can be channelled to get them “in the zone” and improve physical performance.
Tip – Choose a tune that evokes happy memories, ideally with a tempo between 120 to 140 beats per minute.
3. Exercise with music can elevate your mood
Both exercise and music are proven to boost your mood, so why not combine the two? Research published in the journal of Physiology and Behaviour found that listening to fast paced, positive vibes in between sets of high intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises left participants feeling as though they had a more pleasant experience, compared to when they did it without music. When your mood is positively influenced by music you enjoy the workout more. This then strengthens your overall exercise adherence by encouraging you to workout frequently.
Tip – Double your dose of endorphins by combining a HIIT session with high energy music – specifically during your recovery between sets.
4. Exercise with music improves pacing and intensity
The inherent rhythmic nature of music encourages, enhances and strongly influences rhythmic movement. A study published in the Journal for Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found listening to high tempo music during exercise can increase your self-paced intensity without altering how hard you think you are working. And the bonus was, if you change up the music to slow tempo for your post exercise recovery time, you can accelerate your recovery rate back to resting levels.
Tip – Choose a high tempo track to make you work harder during a run or other type of cardio workout. Then switch it up to a soothing slow tempo song for your recovery.
5. Exercise with music makes your body more efficient
One of the most cited experts on the topic of exercise with music, Dr Costas Karageorphis, found that during repetitive, endurance style activities music improves energy efficiency and work output. He also found that when you choose music according to its motivational qualities, the positive impact of music on both psychological state and performance is magnified. So, you feel better in mind and body for doing exercise with music.
Tip – Choose music that is motivating and has happy memories associated with it.
Now you can see that there’s a good reason why we involve music in our workout videos. Download the app for free and check it out today with our FREE 21 Day Trial.
Does music improve your workouts? Let us know in the comments below!