Mark Tan | 98five blogger
Have you heard the phrase ‘music makes the world go ’round?’ This isn’t exactly a novel train of thought. In fact, it can be applied to many scenarios, including when it comes to exercise. If you think about it, it is also logical. Music has always been known to be able to evoke certain emotions, and of course our emotions affect our actions, right?
Ask any athlete and they will tell you that listening to music can distract them from certain bodily discomforts while they are training. So, if this applies to those who perform at high levels, it can no doubt affect people like you and I.
Music with an upbeat tune can stimulate us to work harder. From personal experience, a music track list with high beats-per-minute (BPM) will make my legs crank the handles of the cycling machine with greater speed and ferocity. This is compared to say, a song list of classic slow music.
The reason this happens is because it helps you keep pace. Scientists have shown that the rhythm of music during exercising can stimulate the motor area of the brain. This is then reflected in your bodily movement. Tuning in to these ‘time-signals’ actually help your brain increase the efficiency of energy expenditure without overworking your body to the point that you instinctively stop putting in effort.
Back to the ‘distraction issue’, many gym users will tell you that the right track would put them ‘in the zone’ — a trance-like state where one only focuses on the music while the other limbs are exerting themselves. Some of it is also associated with one’s memory. There is a reason certain tracks, like Final Countdown and Eye of the Tiger work especially well.
Another reason to listen to music while working out, apart from increased physical exertion and calorie burning, is the fact that it will elevate your mood by stimulating the release of dopamine. Think about it as getting twice the reward for half the effort. OK, maybe that was a little exaggerated.
So if you haven’t already, think about making a playlist to listen to while exercising. All the best!
Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. He regularly blogs on health and fitness-related topics and spends his days helping distressed university students through difficult situations. Mark is also studying Christian counselling. Follow Mark on Facebook