Science has proven what those of us who have begrudgingly hit the treadmill at 5 a.m. know – music can maximize your workout.
Researchers gathered 20 men and women and had them perform two interval routines consisting of four, 30-second intense cycling workouts followed by four minutes of rest. One workout included music and one did not.
“As expected, people found those heart-pumping sprints more enjoyable when they had their tunes—and they could push harder, too,” wrote Health magazine. “The participants had higher peak and average power output when their headphones were in.”
Not just any music will suffice. Not only should the music be upbeat and not soft, slow and soothing it should have somewhat of an emotional connection.
“Music also increases endurance by keeping people awash in strong emotions,” write Scientific American. “Listening to music is often an incredibly pleasurable experience and certain songs open the mental floodgates with which people control their emotions in everyday situations. If one strongly identifies with the singer’s emotions or perspective, the song becomes all the more motivational.”
However, music’s positive effects varies on the occasion. People who are lacking motivation such as early morning workouts, outdoor exercising on cold, rainy days, are likely to be underestimated and benefit the most from listening to music. Athletes who are already stimulated and excited — such as before a race — will have limited benefits from music.
Do you use music when you exercise? What songs get you going?
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