Health + Wellness

Music To Help Boost Performance

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Music not only entertains you during your workouts, it can also help enhance your performance.

In all honesty, running is a chore, and as a former competitive runner I can attest to that, especially when you are running or training alone, hence the need for some music, as it is unimaginable for any of us to exercise without listening to a motivational tune or two to entertain you on an otherwise mundane run. Even gyms have piped in music to keep us going at all times; when the weights get too heavy to handle, the burden suddenly abates when you hear Rocky Balboa’s Eye of the Tiger.

With a carefully planned playlist, an exercise routine is no longer mundane, as it motivates one to run faster, cycle further and pump iron in a more intense manner, but have you wondered why? A article in Scientific American sheds light on the psychology of music and exercise and offers insights into what types of tunes are best suited to working out. Ferris Jabr writes:

“In the last 10 years, the body of research on workout music has swelled considerably, helping psychologists refine their ideas about why exercise and music are such an effective pairing for so many people as well as how music changes the body and mind during physical exertion. Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual — often without realizing it. In a 2012 review of the research, Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London, one of the world’s leading experts on the psychology of exercise music, wrote that one could think of music as a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”

Selecting the most effective workout music is not as simple as creating a playlist of high-tempo songs, and thus one should also consider the emotions and associations that different songs evoke. For some people, the extent to which they identify with a song determines how motivated they feel, and in some cases, the melody may not be as important as the cadence of the lyrics. The full story is worth a read and is sure to energize you for your future exercise routines.

 

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