How to bring music into your fitness routine

How to bring music into your fitness routine

Can’t work out without listening to music? You’re not alone, and you’re probably healthier as a result. Read on for the benefits of working out with music.

Music while workout / iStock
Music while workout / iStock

Strength training? Yoga? Swimming? Running? Whatever your workout entails, music influences you to work harder without even realising it.

The study of exercise performance and its relation to music 

Music isn’t just a cure for boredom while you exercise. Countless studies have shown the right playlist can actually help you push yourself longer and harder. A great playlist can transform your workout from mundane to something you actually look forward to. 

According to Popular Science: "Music can serve our workouts in two primary ways: asynchronously, in which it acts as a background motivator and mood elevator, and synchronously, in which it helps us keep time as we move. We humans have a natural tendency to synchronize our movements with music, so songs with speedier tempos can unconsciously make you run faster to match your stride with the beat. In these situations, music increases performance even more than it does as simple background music.”

Music distracts you

Good workout music, according to Scientific American, uses a phenomenon called rhythm response. This is a measure of how much a song makes us want to move to its tempo and beat. The faster the better, according to WebMD. Upbeat tunes have more information for our brains to process, which takes your mind off the aches and pains.  

It helps with performance

Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.

Helps you keep pace

The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or weightlifting. Some workout music is specifically designed to quicken your pace so that you can get the best workout possible. 

It makes you happy

Music naturally boosts dopamine, the neurotransmitter that drives your brain’s reward system. Listening to music during a workout can give you a hit of dopamine – resulting in feelings of well-being. Listening to the right music during a stretch or yoga class can help you wind down and carry the relaxing benefits with you through the rest of your day. 

Steps to put music into your workout routine:

  • Create playlists of music that inspires you to move.
  • Separate the music into tempos when creating your playlists.
  • Make sure the music you play has a good beat.
  • Play fast music at the hardest part of your workout.
  • Use the music to distract your thoughts from pain.

Does music improve your workouts? Let us know in the comments below.

ALSO: Five health benefits of walking as exercise

Main image courtesy of iStock/dolgachov

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