We all love listening to music, whether it is in the car on your drive to work, lying in bed and relaxing, out on the town dancing up a storm or even a the gym sweating your way through a Zumba class. Music has become a part of many aspects of our lives and exercise is no exception to that.
There has been loads of research conducted on just how music can affect the way we exercise, most of which suggests that there are numerous benefits that can lead to increases in motivation, performance and may even lead to greater increases in weight loss.
Motivationally speaking, music can help to keep you focused on your exercise and also help to avoid any unwanted outside distractions. This will help to keep you on track and exercising for longer. The distraction that music can provide also means that you may be less inclined to notice when you start getting tired, which will help spur you on that little bit longer. Having music to distract you is a great way to help break up the monotony of a long run or training session.
Did you know that champion Ethiopian marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie was able to break the 2000m world indoor record by synchronising his running stride to the tempo of the song ‘Scatman’ in 1998?
Although it wouldn’t be my first choice of tunes to get me motivated to workout, songs like ‘Scatman’ have a high tempo and are the best to help increase your performance and motivation. A study published in 2010 found that by increasing the tempo of a song by 10%, resulted in an increase in the distance covered, power output and cadence of participants on a sub-maximal cycle test. This means more work in the same amount of time, which equals better results!
However on the flip side the same study also found slowing tempo of music can actually be detrimental to performance. So next time you have a work out with your iPod make sure you choose your playlist carefully and save the power ballads for your cool down rather than the main part of your session and ensure you have the right tunes to help keep you focused. Staying focused and motivated is an easy way to get the most out of each session, push yourself that little bit harder and burn some extra calories along the way.
If you are stuck for what songs to add to your playlist for your next workout check out our post on ‘The best tunes to train to’