Phone? Check! Wallet? Check! Keys? Check! There’s a certain mental check list most people do before walking out their front door whether it be to the grocery store or the gym. If you’re on your way to work out, it turns out a good playlist is something that should be on your mental checklist as well.
For a long time I worked out without music. I lost my iPod and never made the effort to download music onto my phone. My workouts were hard, I often felt unmotivated, and tired easily. BUT. I was also pregnant so I blamed my fatigue on that & usually ended my work out sooner than originally intended without giving it second thought. Well I recently decided to crank up some music during my step-mill cardio sesh and to my surprise my workout was a breeze! I was even able to work out longer and at a higher intensity! Why is this?
Studies show that music can actually distract people from pain and fatigue, elevate mood, increase endurance, reduce perceived effort & may even promote metabolic efficiency!
In 2012, C.J. Bacon of Sheffield Hallam University discovered that music can function as a metronome, helping someone maintain a steady pace, reducing false steps & decreasing energy expenditure. Basically the study showed that the participants who cycled to music required SEVEN PERCENT LESS oxygen to do the same work as cyclists who didn’t have music.
So why should you make sure you bring some good music to the gym??
- Music distracts you from the difficulty of the work out.
- Music makes you work out harder.
- A 2010 study found that listening to FASTER music makes you work out harder. Aim for songs with 120-140 bpm
- It can help you keep pace.
- Music can elevate your mood.
- Music puts you in the zone.
So hit the gym, throw on your favorite band, and get movin’!
I personally go for Shakira radio on Pandora (thankfully my gym offers free wifi so I don’t eat up my data!)
Need help winding down post work out?
Put on some slow beats! Slow tempo songs can actually help reduce blood pressure & pulse rates more quickly after a workout, speeding up recovery time!
Just think of music as your own personal and “legal performance-enhancing drug” as Professor Costas Karageorghis put it! Plus, who doesn’t enjoy their work outs more when listening to some good tunes?!