Imagine a world where we didn’t have music to motivate us through a workout. Music has the ability inspire and take us out of our physical comfort zone and achieve the fitness goals we never thought possible- all with a simple chord or harmony.
Scientists have picked up on this phenomenon and invested serious time and research in figuring exactly how and why music has such an impact on us during a workout. The next time you plug in your headphones and hit play on your Spotify playlist, you’ll know exactly why music has such an influence on you with these 5 scientifically-proven benefits below:
A recent study has proven that listening to music while working out can significantly improve a person's attitude towards training and make exercise feel easier. The science behind it is relatively simple: music serves as a distraction and keeps your mind off of the physical (moderate) pain of exercise. So the next time you feel yourself waning in energy, pump up the volume and click next on your workout playlist!
It Pushes You
Music can not only distract you from pain but fuel you to go harder than you would without music. Faster music especially can help fuel a more powerful workout. As first reported by The Guardian, music can fuel performance benefits of up to 15%. “As well as enhancing performance, music lowers the perception of effort,” says Professor Costa Karageorghis, a sports sciences expert at Brunel University. “It dulls or masks some of the pain associated with training. We know from scanning the brain that when athletes are played loud upbeat music there is an increase in activity in the ascending reticular activating system.” If there ever was a time to download the latest Beyonce album, it’s now.
It Elevates Your Mood
Working out is hard enough as it is so give yourself a break and play some music, why don’t you? Music has been proven to elevate mood and boost dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls your brain’s reward and pleasure centers. It also motivates us to take action to receive said rewards which can be especially helpful during a workout. Combine that with the boost in serotonin your brain experiences with exercise and you’ll noticed a significant spike in happiness during a workout.
It Can Fuel Reflection and Self-improvement
Music can inspire self-improvement by giving individuals time to reflect and escape from reality. This type of musical therapy can be particularly useful during a workout, when distraction is exactly what you need to power through your workout. Consider working out to your favourite workout mix the next time you hit the pavement for a run: it’ll give you time to escape, refocus and burn calories all at the same time.
It Can Help Keep Your Running Pace
Sync your run to an upbeat playlist and you’ll stay on pace and even improve your endurance. Songs with 140-160 bpm are optimal for running. Google Play even has a feature to help you match the tempo of your workout music to your running pace. According to an article in the Scientific American, music can act as a metronome, “helping someone maintain a steady pace, reducing false steps and decreasing energy expenditure.”