Do you need a little bit of extra motivation when working out? Then here's a little secret. Several scientific reports show how there is a direct link between your exercise performance and the music you listen to. According to a study released in the journal Sports-Medicine Open, listening to music can help maintain and regulate your exercise pace and regimen. But it's not just about listening to any tune on the radio. You have to choose the right beat for every type of exercise. Do you want to know why?
CHOOSE YOUR TUNES ACCORDING TO THE TYPE OF EXERCISE
Activities like yoga, stretching, or even pilates, for example, need relaxing music to allow you to concentrate on the poses. But if you’re training for a race or a boxing class, you need something completely different. For running, for example, it is important to choose songs that can help the body to keep a consistent pace. That’s why most people go with soft rock. There are super useful apps that can help you pick music according to the cadence of your stride, or, in other words, the approximate number of steps you take per minute of running.
If you like boxing or cross-fit, your trainer will definitely try motivating you and making you forget about how exhausted you are with high-intensity rock. For structured classes like indoor cycling, background music plays an important role. For example, during SoulCycle classes, the DJ creates the mixes based on a session's progression. Not to mention dance fitness classes (zumba, batuka, etc.) that are completely dependent on music.
To sum up, the important thing is choosing the right chords to fully enjoy the benefits of music and exercise, and these include:
-An increase in physical stamina: According to a study by Dr Costas Karageorghis's, from London's Brunel University, "carefully selected music can significantly increase a person's physical endurance and make the experience of cardiovascular exercise far more positive." In fact, the results of this study show that music increases exercising endurance by 15 per cent.
-Staying "in the zone": Melodies and lyrics will help you focus on the rhythm, distracting your attention away from the physical impact you are going through.
-Release of endorphins: As published in Science of People, "hearing music alters the neurochemicals in our brains and triggers the release of dopamine and endorphins." This will improve your mood and will help you take on the exercise routine more enthusiastically.
-Stimulation to move: The brain cannot ignore the beats of a song, especially if it's groovy! Scans have shown that the regions in your brain most involved in processing music, are also associated with movement, therefore that irresistible need to shake your body when you listen to a catchy song!
CONTROL THE RYTHM
You also have to give the warm-up and cool-down the time and attention they deserve. During the warm-up, the music should progressively increase in intensity until it reaches the right point and the right cardiovascular level for you to perform at your best in terms of distance, strength and ability.
Just like in a presentation, your playlist should have an introduction, a body and a conclusion. For the cool-down, (your conclusion), the songs should help you to lower your heart rate, return to a calm state, and reconnect yourself to the "real world."
Although your preferences are important factors when choosing your training music, they shouldn’t be the only consideration when deciding what songs are best for exercising. On Youtube or Vimeo, you can find pre-made playlists with the best workout music compilations. All you have to do is hit play. Don't forget that you can also use apps on your smartphone like Spotify, Rock My Run, and more. Possibilities are endless! If you were looking for a workout partner, congratulations! You just found it! That partner is music and it will be with you every step of the way.