Does listening to music improve your workout?
The simple answer would be yes. However, just as a carefully planned diet and training program trumps free-styling your workouts and nutrition, the same can be said about your music. The sooner we understand the science behind music and its positive effects, the sooner we will truly be able to appreciate its influence.
Ever since we’ve been children, there have always been songs that have been dear to us. Songs that can be linked to other people, events and even scents. Simply put, music is powerful and we are fortunate that we live in a time where songs, albums and artists are a quick search away from being at our fingertips. Music can lead to feelings of pleasure or displeasure, can change thought processes, and can cause changes in behavior. This psychological effect can be seen by physical changes in hormone levels. For example, a recent study showed that participants who listened to music they deemed “pleasing” had higher levels of serotonin, known as the “feel-good” hormone. Although difficult to prove the effects, this study suggests that the pleasurable experience of listening to a song can result in an increase in serotonin levels, which can put you in a better mood for your workout.
Music is therapeutic on many levels, and there is a genre for any mood or time of day. One genre which generally tends to be more upbeat is one associated with working out. A 2010 study led by sport psychologist C.I. Karageorghis states that music can improve athletic performance. Karageorghis states that music helps improve the quality of your workout by increasing your stamina and putting you in a better mood. We all know that one song or two that can really get us going, one that we’ve probably listened to a shameless amount of times.
In addition, studies show that faster-paced music tends to help improve athletic performance, either by increasing distance travelled, pace, or repetitions completed. For example, a 2006 study that looked at the effect of music on the selection of treadmill speed found that while listening to fast-paced music, participants increased their pace and distance travelled without becoming more tired.
Now that we’ve put this to rest, choosing music that you enjoy and that fits your exercise routine can help you get more out of your exercise experience. Since everyone has a different ideal workout pace and intensity, determining your music genre can be tricky. I have therefore compiled a playlist consisting of varying genres, all of upbeat variety. Here is the LINK to the Spotify playlist
If you have any comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via any of our social media outlets.
Most importantly, exercise is very important for your overall health, here’s to hoping this playlist can motivate you to go to the gym, destroy your personal bests, and achieve your overall fitness goals.
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1Karageorghis, C.I., Priest, D.L., Williams, L.S., Hirani, R.M., Lannon, K.M., & Bates, B.J. (2010). Ergogenic and psychological effects of synchronous music during circuit-type exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 551-559.
2 Altenmüller, E., & Schlaug, G. (2012). Music, brain, and health: Exploring biological foundations of music’s health effects. In R. A. R. MacDonald, G. Kreutz, & L. Mitchell (Eds.), Music, health, and wellbeing, 12-24. New York: Oxford University Press.
3 Karageorghis, C.I., Priest, D.L., Williams, L.S., Hirani, R.M., Lannon, K.M., & Bates, B.J. (2010). Ergogenic and psychological effects of synchronous music during circuit-type exercise. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 11(6), 551-559.
4Karageorghis, C.I., & Priest, D.L. (2012). Music in the Exercise Domain: A Review and Synthesis (part II). International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 5(1), 67-84.
5Judy Edworthy & Hannah Waring (2006) The effects of music tempo and loudness level on treadmill exercise, Ergonomics, 49:15, 1597-1610, DOI:10.1080/00140130600899104