In this piece, we explore the science behind the workout-enhancing power of music
Used by professionals and amateurs alike, music is a fantastic motivational tool for most kinds of workouts. In fact, numerous scientific research studies have proven that music can have an “ergogenic”, or work-enhancing, influence on athletes through its psychological and physiological effects.
The Physiological Effects of Music
Research shows that music can empower the body to perform better in a multitude of ways. For example, it can give to our heart rate while also lowering blood pressure. It also helps us to use up energy more efficiently by increasing the body’s metabolism.
In fact, music has such a can have such a powerful effect on athletes that the renowned sports psychologist and academic researcher, Costas Karageorghis describes it as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug.”
The Psychological Effects of Music
Additionally, music can positively impact the mind of athletes in such a way as to enhance their performance. It helps you “get in the zone” by blocking our distracting or demotivating noises (e.g. the whir of the machine or your breathing). The right song can also immerse you so wholly that you take less notice of the physical labor of the activity.
Song lyrics offer athletes the aural motivation they need to push themselves that little bit harder. All of these factors have a cumulative effect that helps to alleviate feelings of pain, stress, and fatigue and gives you the energy to keep going.
So, What Is the Secret to Making A Great Workout Playlist?
Research shows that there is such a thing as a perfect workout playlist. When compiling your playlist, consider the mental state you want to achieve and choose your songs accordingly – for example, something soothing for yoga, or a pumping club banger for HIIT.
It’s also a good idea to select songs boasting a rhythm and tempo that will complement your chosen activity. If you respond well to encouragement, then be sure to include some songs with inspiring lyrics.
Is the Sound of Silence Ever Better?
In some cases, it may be better to exercise in silence. For example, some activities require your fullest attention (e.g. martial arts or rock climbing) so music may prove to be an unwelcome distraction. This may also be the case if you’re doing a high-intensity workout as you will need to pay full attention to your physical limits so as to avoid injury.
If you are exercising outdoors (e.g. cycling or jogging) then it is also advised that you should also switch off your music when near roads.
Find Out More in the Below Infographic
If you are curious about this topic and would like to learn more then you should certainly check out the below infographic which comes courtesy of the team at My Fitness Boutique.
This super informative guide offers a handy explainer of this research and also provides some practical tips on how you can use music to help make your workout more productive.
Read below to discover more.