Music is an essential part of most people’s workout routines. Many fitness enthusiasts consider their headphones as the most crucial part of their workouts. Without them, they might not even exercise. This actually might be a good thing. Apart from being exciting and fun, music also has various positive effects on your workout. Studies suggest that it has the potential to improve it.
It Ups Your Effort
Many studies have found that listening to music can enhance your athletic performance, either by increasing the number of reps you complete, the pace at which you travel, or the distance you run. When you lose yourself in music, your brain gets occupied by this mental distraction. This is a good form of distraction as it can make you work harder without you even knowing that you are doing so. Upbeat music can even increase the heart rate, leading to peak power output. When paired with higher levels of motivation, music during workout makes for a fitness experience unlike any other.
A Good Beat Helps You Keep Pace
In 1911, Leonard Ayres – an American investigator – found that cyclists rode faster when a band was playing as opposed to when it remained silent. Since then, hundreds of tests and trials have been carried out to understand the way music changes the physical performance of people. On many occasions, scientists have found that the tempo of a song plays a major role – meaning the faster the beat, the faster you will work out. In short, you can set and keep a certain pace of your workout by simply selecting the right music.
Music Elevates Your Mood
One of the best advantages of music (not just while working out) is that it elevates your mood. Listening to music releases the feel-good hormones of the body (e.g. oxytocin, dopamine, etc.). It also reduces your body’s stress hormone, i.e. cortisol. As a result, you shed negative thoughts and achieve a more positive state of mind. And since working out also elevates your mood via the same process, exercising while listening to music is a great way to improve your mood.
It Makes You Want to Move
Music has the potential to motivate you in a way a pep talk never could. Although what motivates you will differ from one person to another (it might be a connection with the emotion of a singer or a certain memory attached to a song), it is possible to get a sense of determination and focus within seconds of listening to your favorite music. This is particularly helpful when you would usually be doubting your ability to get to the end of an intense workout session.
As you can see, there is a reason music has become a crucial part of fitness routine. It helps motivate people to work harder while offering numerous other advantages. So, no matter whether you listen to hip-hop, rock, or pop music during your workouts, know that it makes a difference.
Photos by: Andrea Piacquadio, Gustavo Torres, Bruce Mars