Music makes everything better. A 2018 study found that music helps reduce pain in people with chronic pain conditions. The same results were not found in people who listened to other things, like news reports.
When you have gone exercising, you may have noticed that workout music helps you. Yet many people go for a jog or lift weights in silence.
How does music impact a person's emotions while they are exercising? How does music affect the brain, heart, and muscles? What are the best musical sounds during a workout?
Answer these questions and you can work out without feeling pain and while feeling great. Here are seven benefits of workout music.
1. Listening to Music Is a Great Distraction
Many people avoid exercising because they find it boring and repetitive. But music lets them keep their mind off of what they are doing. They become less aware of their exertion, and they may continue exercising because a good song is on.
Music gives information for a person's brain to latch onto. The brain must interpret the lyrics and process the sounds of different instruments. This can keep someone's mind from wandering, especially during moderate exercises.
Music works well as a distraction when someone is listening to music by themselves. Wearing smart eyewear with Bluetooth speakers lets an exerciser listen to the music they like. They can adjust the volume so other people's music does not block out theirs.
2. Workout Music Offers Motivation
Human beings connect songs to certain memories. Someone listening to the theme of Rocky associates the song with endurance and athletic performance. Playing the song may be enough to motivate someone into exercise.
Other songs offer more coherent and direct messages. The lyrics of songs like "Eye of the Tiger" promote fighting through pain and overcoming challenges. They can encourage someone to continue working out, even as they encounter difficulty.
Some people like to sing along to the music. A group of people singing all together can create a sense of community, especially in exercises that require teamwork. This may provide enough inspiration for someone to continue their routine.
3. Beats Create a Pace
The rhythm of a song can affect the areas of the brain that control movement. This can induce a person's body to match the beats within the song.
A person can consciously match their movements to a song's beat. This is good for weight-lifting, giving someone an opportunity to rest and then move weights to match a song.
Most pop songs are at a good pace to induce someone to exercise. The rate of 130 beats per minute matches most people's heart rates during a workout.
An athlete can also match their breathing rate to a song. They may be able to take longer and deeper breaths, bringing oxygen into their tissues.
4. Music Can Encourage Movement
Groove refers to the desire of a person to dance to a piece of music. Some feelings of groove are subconscious. A person begins tapping their feet or swinging their shoulders without realizing it.
High-groove songs are songs that encourage people to get up and move. They are great for exercises that are dance-based like Zumba.
But they work for aerobic and muscle-building exercises as well. The brain becomes excited and induces the body to start jogging or peddling.
5. Songs Lift the Mood
Most people listen to music in order to feel better. When they hear a song that they like, they feel a hormone called dopamine.
Dopamine makes a person feel more upbeat, especially after a stressful situation. It encourages them to re-enact the action that prompted the initial dopamine rush. This helps someone stick to their workout routine from day to day.
Music can soothe a person in addition to revving them up. Playing ambient music with soft notes can make someone feel more relaxed and easy. This is a great approach for a yoga or meditation class, or for someone looking to wind down from a long workout.
6. Music Delays Fatigue
A 2017 study found that playing music during workouts increased exercise duration by roughly 15 minutes. By distracting the brain, music prevents it from noticing feelings of fatigue. But music helps with fatigue in other ways.
Music reduces the levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the body's stress hormone, and it causes muscles to slow down. It can make a person feel stressed out while it is flowing through their brain.
But songs that are at too high a tempo can cause fatigue because the body matches its motions to its rhythm. This means that people should select songs at a low tempo as they are warming up.
Once they have finished their initial workout, they can transition to songs of a medium tempo. After that stage is complete, they should return to music with fewer beats per minute.
7. Music Reduces Pain
Many people feel pain while they are working out. But listening to great music can open up opioid signals in the brain. These signals receive pain-killing hormones that can help a person reduce their discomfort.
If a person experiences extreme pain, they should take a break. If they are comfortable doing so, they can leave the music on so their heart rate stays up. This can ease them back into exercise if they decide to continue their workout.
The Benefits of Workout Music
Workout music is great for the body and mind. It distracts the brain from pain signals with lyrics and musical instruments. Lyrics can tell stories that motivate someone to keep going.
Rhythms can serve as a guide for a person's heart and breathing rates. Groove can inspire a person to move, especially in dance exercises.
Music can make someone feel happier while reducing stress hormones in the brain. Opioid receptors can open up, letting someone feel more pain-relieving chemicals.
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