Crank Up The Music When Working Out!

Woman with headphonesIt’s only 10 minutes into your daily 30 minute run, but you are already looking forward to it ending. You feel so tired and slow, today. Every minute of your run feels like an eternity. Yesterday, was a totally different experience. Your run was spectacular! You were fast, full of energy and the 30 minutes flew by. The only difference between today and yesterday, is that yesterday you were listening to your favorite playlist on your iPod while you ran and today you forgot it at home. Could some music make that much of a difference?

For many of us, the power of music motivates and energizes us helping us to achieve optimal performance during exercise. When the music is pumping, it feels like our arms and legs pump along with it driving us forward. An especially great song seems to spur us to higher and higher speeds. Why is that?

How does music affect exercise?

When you listen to music, you forget that you are in pain or fatigued or that you have 20 minutes left of your exercise session. Your mind is distracted and you are lost in the moment with the song, listening to the lyrics and beats that may be stimulating emotions and memories. When the tempo gets faster, you automatically move faster to keep up with the rhythm.

It’s more than that though. According to Scientific American, “Music and movement are entangled in the brain. Recent studies suggest that even if someone is sitting perfectly still, listening to enjoyable music increases electrical activity in the brain important for coordinating movements, including the supplementary motor area, cerebellum, basal ganglia and ventral posterior cortex.” That extra stimulation of the movement related portions of the brain, is a large part of why people perform better when they pair music with their workout. Music literally kicks part of your brain into overdrive, spurring faster movement.

The bottom line:

So, the next time you are working out, don’t forget your MP3 player. Not only will it improve your mood, but it will also improve your overall workout performance!


Comments (8)

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  1. Mary Jo says:

    Thanks Talli, I fully agree with what you are saying in this article. I use music for exercising on my bike, and find it great to get the blood flowing ( and I am less tired when i finish). I also use it for writing and doing computer work (quieter music though!)

  2. Max Sebring says:

    Hi Talli! Music really motivates me especially when I’m running. When I feel so tired, I just listen to my inspirational songs. It makes my daily routine exciting. I’m planning to buy bluetooth headset for my device. Anyway, thanks for sharing! 😀

  3. Clarissa says:

    Thanks from me too, Talli. From personal experience I know that music makes me feel good while exercising, but i didn’t know about its positive effects on coordination and movement. That is a great extra benefit that i am so glad you have passed on to us!

  4. Doc_Mo says:

    Yes I agree, music is great motivator while working out. Just using the beat to keep your pace up. Also it’s distracting from the work at hand.

  5. I couln’t agree more. Every time I listen to music and workout I feel I can do more, then without it. Also when working I enjoy listening to music and gets more out of me. In a nutshell don’t live without music, regardless of work out, running, working, even cooking.

  6. Jen says:

    Every time I work out with music, I feel more focused and I love working out now. I used to hate it and thought that I was never going to lose weight. I was able to lose 5 pounds and now I love working out. I’m much healthier and fitter than I once was.

  7. Andreas says:

    This is a great article and the first time I have read anyone writing about this subject. I find half of my motivation for working out is the fact that I can put my headphones on and just listen to my favorite tunes. Combine this with getting in shape and I am sold!

  8. christophe says:

    music is the best way to zone out and forget about the pain!!

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