Whether you use the gym regularly, or you attend workout classes, or even watch keep fit videos on YouTube, you will have noticed that, no matter what else is happening, one thing is the same across the board; there will be music playing. In fact, if you workout at home, you probably play music too, maybe even starting your favorite tunes up without really thinking about why.
Just what is it about music that goes so well with a good workout? The answer is that it helps us, both mentally and physically, when it comes to exercise, and here are the reasons why.
A Good Distraction
It’s good to be somewhat distracted when carrying out any kind of physical activity. Of course, too much of a distraction can be dangerous as we can stop paying quite so much attention to what we are doing, but a little distraction is a good thing.
Using music as a distraction is ideal when you are working out. Putting a great song on your turntable and then starting your exercise means you are less aware of how much physical energy you are using, and you can go on for longer.
If you can find a faster, more up-tempo song to listen to as you work out, you should be able to push yourself further. High energy music with good beats makes you work your body harder as, subconsciously, you are trying to keep up with that beat and move in time to it. This is true no matter what kind of exercise you are carrying out, from using a treadmill to pushing weights, to exercising on a rowing machine or going running outside. Whatever it is, if you can listen to something between 120 and 140 BPM (beats per minute) you can do a much better job than if you had no music at all.
In the Zone
Not everyone enjoys exercise, and even those who do can sometimes find it hard to get motivated to get started and then keep going; some days are just harder than others. If you listen to music, this problem becomes much smaller. The right song can put you in exactly the frame of mind you need to be in to workout properly and really get the most out of your session.
Studies show that although it’s the physical body that does the most work when someone is exercising, the brain is actually also involved. It is what helps to make a workout harder or easier. If you can play music that boosts you and makes you feel more positive, the brain will help you to enjoy the workout much more. You will be ‘in the zone’.
If you listen to a song with a great rhythm, you can increase activity in the motor area within the brain. This is what helps us to stay co-ordinated and allows us to keep pace with whatever we are meant to be doing. In other words, listening to music while working out can help us to stay balanced and stop us from tripping over ourselves.