Does Music Help Your Fitness Performance?
For most people, listening to music when they work out is not just a preference, it’s essential. At the gym, all the chart toppers blast from speakers, and you’ll more often than not see your fellow gym-mates wearing headphones with their very own workout playlist playing.
Listening to music while you work out isn’t a new idea by any means, it’s been going on for as long as we can remember, and is widely considered to be an essential part of the fitness experience – but how exactly does music help your fitness performance?
Music Is a Distraction
The distraction of choice for everyone getting involved in a workout – from pro athletes to your average joe hitting the gym, music is amazing at taking your mind off exactly how hard you’re working while at the gym. Benefiting your workout by up to 15%, working out with upbeat and motivating music simply makes you less aware of negative workout factors such as pain or fatigue, meaning you can work out for much longer.
You Work Harder to Music
Something in your brain just can’t help but connect with the beat. Listening to fast music gets you in the motivated mindset that helps you keep going and get into a real rhythm with your workout. You’ve got to get the right tempo though. Too slow and you lose motivation, but too fast and you’ll likely tire out and be frustrated that you can’t keep up with the music. For maximum effect, we recommend finding a tune between 120 to 140 beats per minute.
Music is Motivational
As well as distracting you from the work you’re doing, music can actually make you want to work harder. Do you have a favourite track that just gets you in the mood to workout? There’s a science to how that works – when you listen to that song, you’re actually channeling the memory or emotion you most associate with the music.
Rhythm is Important to Exercise
You’ll find that workout tracks always have a strong beat – this is because rhythm stimulates your brain’s motor area letting it know when to move. When you’re taking on a self-paced activity such as running, getting into the rhythm of the music can help you keep working out for longer as your body is using energy more efficiently.
Music is Great for Your Mood
One of the reasons music is so popular both on and off the treadmill is its ability to change your mood and take your mind off negativity. When you’re listening to music at the gym, you’ll find it much easier to focus on yourself and what you want to get out of your workout – that feel good feeling you’re already getting from your music. It helps you to get into that ‘I’m doing this for me’ mindset, which will keep you working out for longer and feeling great once you’re done.
Music Makes You Want to Move
When we listen to music, our bodies naturally want to move more. Music with a “high groove” quality excites the brain and induces more movement in the listener. So even if you’re not feeling your workout on the way to the gym, chances are as soon as you start listening to your playlist you’ll be ready to get moving in no time!