Music can motivate you to workout longer and harder, says David-Lee Priest, PhD, a psychologist and researcher at University of East Anglia, Norwich, England.
Build on Pace:
A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports finds that when the tempo of music was increased by only 10 percent (without participants knowing), cyclists went farther and pedaled with more power. They enjoyed the music more as well. Slower paced songs having tempos within the 80-90 bpm range, like “Stereo Heart” by Gym Class Heroes or “Twilight” by Cover Drive, are idle for warming up or cooling down. As you pick up the pace to a moderately intense level, songs within the 120-140 bpm range are ideal — such as,
- “Starships” by Nicki Minaj (125 bpm)
- “Domino” by Jessie J (127 bpm),
- “Turn Me On,” by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj (128 bpm).
Listening to any music, will keep you on the treadmill or elliptical longer than going without it. Motivational lyrics also prove more inspiring. You will naturally spend more time exercising than if you are listening to music that doesn’t move you. Also, songs with phrases like “push it,” “work it” and “I shall overcome ” can subconsciously propel you to keep on moving.
Reduced Rate of Perceived Exertion:
The RPE scale is used to measure the intensity of your exercise. It runs from 0 – 10. A study on, Influence of music on ratings of perceived exertion during 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise showed that different types of music can act as an effective passive distracter during exercise and are associated with lower ratings of perceived exertion.
Good for the Heart:
Researchers at the University of Maryland found that when people listened to music that made them feel good, they had better blood flow, which is good for your heart and blood vessels.
Better Recovery from Illness:
After a stroke, people who listened daily to their favorite music remembered more, could focus better, and were less depressed and confused than those who hadn’t, one study shows. The reason isn’t clear, but one possibility is that listening to music involves several parts of the brain. Similarly, if you have Parkinson’s disease, you may have slurred or unclear speech because of breathing problems or trouble moving your mouth or tongue. Through music therapy, you can learn how to “sing” words and hold single syllables to get better breath support. If you focus on the rhythm of a piece of music, it might help you walk or move better.
Music influences hormone production that are directly connected with our emotions. Eating dinner while listening to Mozart helps to improve your metabolism and food digestion. When you eat while listening to the pop or rock music you automatically start eating faster. As a result, you swallow bigger pieces making it harder for your stomach to digest the food, which inevitably leads to extra pounds.
Levels of dopamine shoot up to 9% higher when volunteers were listening to music. They enjoyed according to a study reported in Nature Neuroscience. Dopamine is a common neurotransmitter in the brain. It is released in response to rewarding human activity and is linked to reinforcement and motivation. These include activities that are biologically significant such as eating and sex.
Blood Pressure Regulation:
Pregnant women, rate music as more intensely pleasant and unpleasant, associated with greater changes in blood pressure, a study has demonstrated. Music appears to have an especially strong influence on pregnant women, a fact that may relate to a prenatal conditioning of the fetus to music.
Effect on Muscle Tension:
One study conducted on influence of stimulative music, sedative music, and silence (no music) on measured grip strength (Pearce, 1981) has indicated that listening to sedative music decreased strength significantly when compared to stimulative music and silence.
Enhanced Motor Skills:
Health and fitness professionals working with persons affected by orthopedic and neuro-muscular disorders may achieve superior results in improving gross motor skills, such as walking. That too with the accompaniment of music or rhythmic stimuli in the rehabilitation process.
Whatever musical style you favor, you should check the beats per minute (bpm). You can look for apps that can help you determine the bpm.