Hear the Beat, Feel the Burn - 6 Benefits to Exercising with Music
Everything you need to know about adding music to your workout.
Have you ever experienced the sinking feeling of hopping on the treadmill, only to realize you forgot your earbuds? You're not alone in this. Going to the gym just isn’t the same without your favorite singers there to motivate you. Why are we so obsessed with having music in our heads during our workouts? The easy answer is that it makes exercise bearable and, dare we say, even fun. But we’ve got interesting news for you! There's actually proven health benefits to working out to music, that affect us both psychologically and physically.
Here are our “6 Super Fun Facts” to the science behind the music:
1. Push it real good!
Want to get the most out of your body? Put in the headphones! And if you really want to feel the benefits, turn up the tempo to a song with a fast beat. It’s no secret that an energetic song makes it easier to jump around and sweat than a slow jam does. Researchers found that when people listened to higher-tempo music during exercise, they were more motivated and worked harder. And although the music didn’t take away the pain, faster music made the participants “accept, and even prefer, a greater degree of effort.” If you’re a music nerd, look for songs that are between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm). Those should give you the maximum effect, according to the study. #NoPainNoGain
2. Go to your happy place
Music is AWESOME at transporting our minds somewhere else. It’s a distraction, but the good kind. Like you can picture yourself on a beach with your favorite pop-star, while you’re actually just in an aerobics class holding a plank for a grueling two minutes. And even though we know music may not take away the pain of exercise, it can distract you enough to benefit athletic performance up to 15 percent. We suggest something upbeat and happy to really take your mind off of your burning legs.
3. Can’t stop the rhythm!
When the music is on, you really can’t help but get up and move! It’s called “high-groove” and it’s SCIENCE, you guys. Researchers found that when music possesses "high-groove" qualities, your brain gets excited and activates movement in your body. Even if you need a dose of wake-up energy at work, or a pick-me-up when you’re feeling bummed, just pop on a song to change the mood! So next time you’re dragging your feet about going to the gym, remember your playlist has a scientific ability to make you move.
4. Song Choice Matters
We all know the song that gets us on the dance floor at our cousin's wedding or the song gets us into the shower on days we have to be up at 5AM. Song choice. Is. EVERYTHING. Songs that are more motivational have been shown to improve physical endurance. So if you're looking for a motivation jolt – pick the right song and you're off to the races (or wherever the heck you want to go).
5. Pace yourself
Have you ever been on a jog and caught yourself slowing down when a slower-paced song comes on your playlist? Even though some exercises can flow however YOU choose to pace them (we’re looking at you guys, running and weightlifting), music can make all the difference! The rhythm of your jam will stimulate the motor area of your brain, essentially telling you when to move. Using these time signals means more efficient use of energy, and a steady pace that’s easier on our bodies. This explains why we wouldn’t normally want to do jumping jacks to a relaxing yoga track, or a sun salutation to an aggressive hype mix. So find a song that fits the pace you can keep up with, and if you’ve got a whole playlist, try to find songs that all have similar beats.
Simply put, exercise is more fun with music. Plus it can help you totally flip your approach to working out, so you go into it with a positive attitude. A Runner's World survey (of 3,523 runners) revealed that 75% of respondents were "for running with music,” and science agrees with them. Dr Costas Karageorghis, sport psychologist and author of Inside Sport Psychology, says that "for the average runner, music makes the experience more pleasurable. When used judiciously, music can elevate your performance levels and improve your mood state.” There you have it kids – a headphone runner is a happy runner.
Chances are, you already love exercising to music, and now it’s even better with science backing it up, right? So whatever gets you moving, keeping jamming out to it and feeling the burn. We say if something makes your workout more enjoyable – use it! So whether you already love exercise or hate exercise, try it with music next time. Invest in a good pair of headphones that won’t fall out when you’re getting your sweat on. And find a playlist that works for you! There are tons of great playlists (for every mood you can possibly imagine) on Spotify or wherever you get your music. Let us know which songs work best for you with #ThankGoodNes #WorkoutMusic.
– The goodNes Crew