Turning up the volume to some good workout music while exercising might be something you do often without even taking notice. Now, there’s some science to that good feeling and seemingly extra energy you get when you listen to music while exercising.
In recent times, scientists seeking to relate listening to music while working out and its effect on humans have come up with some amazing finds. These interesting finds now give us 7 strong reasons why one should listen to music while exercising.
There are probably more, but here are seven very good reasons I found, to play music while working out:
1. Music helps set you in the right mood
If you’ve been feeling lethargic and unable to get yourself in the right frame of mind to workout, this might interest you. Scientists researching on how music influences mood discovered that music can influence mood and perhaps help one become more alert.
According to the study, listening to music enabled the subjects to “escape” from their present realities. During the course of the day, we may go through or feel a lot of negativity, but music can give the energy needed to take on those hectic workout routines with ease.
Just like massage, music does have some relaxing therapeutic effect on the human body. A study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety showed that workout music could as well decrease anxiety. The researchers from the Group Health Research Institute compared patients who got massages with others who only listened to music and found similar outcomes.
If music can be as effective as massage in improving your mood, and helping you relax, it sure is one good reason to play it while working out.
2. A good beat can help you keep pace.
Thinking of better ways to stay in step while working out? Its simple—workout music! Whether it’s techno, metal, or some upbeat jam, rhythmic music has been shown to stimulate the motor area of the brain that controls when we move. This is particularly important when doing exercises that need you to keep a certain consistent pace – like thread-milling, jogging or lifting weights.
The more accurately you are able to keep step with the rhythms and your workout, the more energy you conserve. That way, you don’t expend more energy doing routines that are not in step. Studies have also shown that controlling the tempo and beat of the music you listen to while exercising can greatly influence the pace at which one works out.
Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University in a study compared cyclists who worked out listening to music with others who didn’t and found that those who listened to music required 7% less oxygen than the others. A clear explanation for this could be the fact that music helped them workout more efficiently as they kept pace with the music.
RECOMMENDED READING: 10 Workout Exercises For Pregnant Moms Looking To Burn Fat
3. Could make your workout less painful
Pain is one sure thing when one is exercising and moving muscle. What relief it will be to have something – that isn’t a drug or medicine – that can help ease that pain.
Research consistently finds that athletes who listen to music felt somewhat distracted from the pain experienced while exercising. Another study observed that basketball players who listened to catchy, upbeat music before a high-pressure game performed significantly better than when they didn’t.
No doubt, the more one gets hooked with the beat or lyrics of the music while working out, the tendency to take one’s mind off the pain and carry on easily is heightened.
4. Helps you work harder
Want to work harder? Play some workout music. Music does have tremendous effect on how much effort you put into your workout routine.
According to a study done in 2010 comparing how fast cyclists worked out when listening to different tempo of music, they found faster music did encourage cyclists to work harder.
Although faster music can help you push harder, music when it gets too fast is not good as well. Scientists say, ideally, listening to music with beat rates anywhere between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) would produce the best results when working out moderately.
Fact is, whenever we hum, whistle or chant our favorite songs or chants while working out, it does make us want to put in more work.
5. Music reduces stress and pain too
Most of us listen to music while we drive to work, while we commute and while we take a walk. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we engage music to help us lighten the stress of the day-to-day. We might as well apply some workout music when we exercise. Science does have some explanation why you should make it a part of your daily routine.
According to a research done at the University of Gothenburg, scientists found that listening to music on a daily basis helps to reduce stress level. The thesis was based on the results of two studies, which showed that people who listened to music also felt positive emotions. Although the researches did point out that people respond differently to the same music and also at different times and under different circumstances.
Research author Marie Helsing in a statement said:
“To get the positive effects of music, you have to listen to music that you like.”
How effective is music in reducing pain? Researchers from University of Utah Pain Research Center have shown that listening to music is effective as a distraction for anxiety-prone people from feeling pain. The study, which was published in the Journal of Pain found that music helped the subjects to have less arousal when shocked with non-dangerous fingertip electrodes.
When you feel less pain, your workout feels a lot less hectic and more fun.
RECOMMENDED READING: Weight Loss: 20 Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly
6. Music gets your body “moving”
Wondering how to start-off your workout session? Try some music! Songs that can get you to dance are ideal to start your session with. Typically, these are songs that you associate with fun, exciting memories. The more you channel that memory — or even just the emotion of the singer — makes the song even more motivating, and has been shown to improve physical performance.
Good workout music really just gets you moving to the beat. Studies have shown that when music possesses “groovy” beats or lyrics, it excites your brain and induces your body to move with it. Your workout playlist basically should get your body moving, no matter how hectic, tedious and daring your workout is.
7. Plus a Little Distracting Motivation
Expert exercise physiologists say music can help both as a distraction and a motivation. Interestingly, we play music that gets us all pumped up and motivated to take action before an interview, in the mornings or while driving to work. Same way music can be a motivating tool while working out.
According to Scientific American, music often changes people’s perception of their own effort throughout a workout. While listening to Beyoncé or Eminem, it kind of seems easier to run those 10 miles or finish a plank routine.
Try this, play a banging hip-pop or rap tune from Eminem or Jay Z and try making out the lyrics while you work out. You’ll find you’ll not be so focused on the energy you’re expending and the work you are doing.
Music that we associate with inspirational or aspirational figures, or a good memory we once had can help to nudge us to put in more effort into our exercise. Recent studies have clarified not only what type of music is best suited to a workout, but also the fact that music can help people exercise more.
Studies have shown that music powerfully influences performance and training for athletes in unimaginable ways! One such study showed that athletes most of they often listened to music before events, before training sessions and during warm-up sessions. According to them, the athletes felt that music increased their activation, positive energy, motivation, performance levels, and flow.
Cool Workout Music
If you’re looking to add a track or two to your workout music playlist to help you through your routines, here are some of the best workout music that can go with your routine whether moderate or upbeat.
These songs, some of which are classic hits are ideal for moderate workouts, aerobics, slow jogs, and longer stretch runs:
- Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
- Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
- Lady GaGa – Poker Face
- Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball
These songs, are ideal for faster paced and shorter duration workouts, such as pumps, planks, and short runs:
- ABBA – Does Your Mother Know
- Amy Winehouse – Rehab
- Bryan Adams – Summer of ’69
- Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You