Music fuels your workouts. It’s no wonder many fitness buffs and endurance athletes put their headphones on and tune the world out during physical activity. No matter what their training routine entails, music can help all gym enthusiasts to get into the “zone” and perform at their physical best.
So how does music enhance workouts? Research exploring the link between music and exercise began in the 1920s and continues today. According to Robert Sewak, PD, author of the article Striking the Right Chord With the Music You Choose, scientists in 1935 discovered a simple tempo change in music caused the listener’s respiration rate to change.
As they observed more data, scientists also noticed that music:
- Changed the heart rate
- Affected blood pressure
- Changed the metabolic rate
- Reduced physical and mental stress
- Reduced fatigue
All of these things aid the flow of energy in the human body. The sound waves of music enter your ears and turn into pulses or vibrations, which travel to the nerves in the brain. The pulses influence the brain, which then translates to the body’s movement.
Music with a fast beat subconsciously travels through your brain down to your fingers which allows them to tap to the rhythm. Pay attention next time you’re listening to music at your desk. Notice how your body moves without any thought.
Think about the activities you do. Running is often fast paced, whereas yoga is slower; the body’s pace is vastly different depending on the activity. When you create your next playlist, make sure to pick songs that correlate to the activity’s tempo. The song’s bpm (beats per minute) should match the heart rate you wish to reach during your workout.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
John Douthitt – Mission Fitness