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Can listening to music improve your workout?

by Freya 3 minutes read

Last updated: 18 Jul, 2022

As you might know, listening to music can have an effect on your mood, it is likely to lift your spirits, depending on what you listen to. Music can boost the production of the hormone dopamine, this increase will help reduce any anxious or depressive feelings.

Not only can it have an effect on your mood, but it has the chance to impact your workout too and encourage you to work harder. We will be looking at the effect of music on exercise performance.

According to one study, music increases attention, elevates emotions, alters or regulates mood, increases work output, induces states of higher functioning, improves confidence, and encourages rhythmic movement.

They also found out that it improves exercise performance, delays fatigue, increases endurance, power and strength.

Improve physical performance

Studies have shown that faster paced music will help improve one's athletic performance, for example one study showed that depending on the music played, the faster-paced music will increase the speed selected on the treadmill, increase distance travelled, pace or repetitions.

Music will stimulate the part of the brain that controls our movements, this will help your body to perform repetitive movements. When you synchronise your music with these repetitive movements, it can increase the levels of work output - it will increase your heart rate, metabolism, reduce blood pressure, and improve energy.

One study from 2014, showed that the best tempo for running on the treadmill is between 123 to 131 beats per minute(bpm).

For intense workouts, it can be helpful to select music with anything between 120-140 bpm, making it more likely to be effective at improving your physical performance.

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Delays fatigue

According to research, listening to music while working out can delay the onset of fatigue that you might feel during a workout.

It will draw your attention away from feeling pain and fatigue brought on by the workout, especially for cardio endurance exercises such as running or cycling.

The dissociation through music will divert and distract the mind from these feelings, as we know, listening to music releases mood-enhancing hormones, which can also provide you with pain relief.

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Psychological effect

Whether you are listening to music while working out or not, music can lead to a change in emotion and our thought process.

A 2012 study showed that participants who listened to music they enjoyed had higher levels of serotonin. This suggests that the enjoyable experience of listening to a song can improve your mood for a workout.

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If you are looking for ways to improve your workout, create a workout playlist specifically for the exercise you are doing and see if it makes a difference, but if you do not enjoy the music, it may not help.

Running: 120-140 bpm

Strength training: 130-150 bpm

Rowing: 110-130 bpm

Cycling: 120-140 bpm

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