Have you ever wondered why coaches and personal trainers have the radio on during training sessions? Odds are it's not just because they happen to enjoy the music. The reason why this is common practice shouldn't come as a surprise to most of you.
The fact of the matter is this: research shows that listening to music while you exercise can improve the quality of your workout. Yes, it's that simple. You've probably known this for a long time, semi-consciously plugging in your iPod whenever you get ready to exercise.
But what makes music so important to exercise? Keep reading, because you're about to find out.
Benefits of Listening To Music While You Exercise
The human body responds well to positive stimuli. And music can prompt the human body to do amazing things. For example, have you ever felt re-invigorated after listening to your favorite song? If so, then you know how powerful the impact can be. The music produced a multitude of physiological responses within your body.
Music Makes The Pain Go Away
There is scientific evidence that music can affect the listener's attention span and perception. For example, music can stimulates feelings of happiness and distract a person from feelings of tiredness. It can even happen on an unconscious level, and would explain why people who listen to upbeat music tend to exercise more intensely.
Music Increases Motivation and Improves Motor Skills
Researchers observed that female basketball players performed better if they listened to upbeat music prior to their games. Scientists concluded that music decreased anxiety, providing the athletes something different to focus on.
There is also evidence that music improves muscular coordination and coordination. Thus music can be a very effective motivator for people whom might otherwise be shy about participating in exercise. If their minds are pre-occupied with music, it may distract their misperception of physical awkwardness while improving their motor skills.
Music Speeds Up Your Heart Beat and Respiration
Scientists at Liverpool John Moores University discovered that cyclists's heart rates changed with music tempo. Faster music resulted in elevated heart rate, conversely the heart rate slowed when the music was of a slower tempo.
This is an important take home message for people who are interested in getting the most out of their weight loss exercise routine: listen to fast tempo music when performing aerobics.
Aerobics is designed to increase cardiovascular fitness and breathing and music is integral to accomplishing that goal. So, whether you're exercising on the treadmill, jogging, walking or biking, listening to upbeat music while you train will speed up your heart rate, thus helping you to lose weight.
What's The Best Music For Exercise?
Experts suggest that people should consider the type of activity that they will perform prior to their choice of music. For example, if the goal is a repetitive exercise e.g. interval training then music that matches the tempo and actions of the exercise would be a better choice than a music that merely sounds good to the ears.
On the other hand, if you want to get your heart rate up - a common goal of weight loss exercise - choose music of a fast tempo. The body synchronizes to sound so make sure that you choose your music wisely.
Now it's your turn. Do you listen to music while you exercise? Do you notice any change in the quality of your workouts? Tell us about it in the comments.
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Music In Sport and Exercise: An Update on Research and Application. http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/music-sport-and-exercise-update-research-and-application
Mesagno et al: Alleviating Choking- The Sounds of Distraction. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. April 2009; 21(2): 131-147.
Waterhouse et al: Effects of Music Tempo upon submaximal cycling. Scandanavian Journal of Medical & Science in Sports. August 2010; 20(4):662-9.
"Can You Really Lose Weight And Train Better If You Listen To Music?" copyright © 2011 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.