Listening to Music While Exercising

No matter the genre, everyone likes listening to music. Whether it’s live at a concert, through the headphones of an iPod, or blasting through the speakers of a home stereo system, music is constantly being listened to at all times of the day. What many people don’t realize is that music has many unnoticed benefits, especially while exercising.

It has become very common for athletes and gym goers to exercise while listening to their very own work out playlists designed specifically to pump them up. Although it seems ridiculous to think that music can actually improve your workout, it does exactly that. It has been shown that listening to especially up-tempo music during exercise encourages you to work harder and helps your body work more efficiently. In a study on cyclists, while listening to upbeat music they were able to pedal harder, faster, and cover more ground than their music-less counterparts. Another related study shows that while listening to music, the cyclists would align their effort to the beat of the song which in turn used 7% less oxygen- implying their cardiorespiratory system was working more efficiently. Music also distracts you from your feelings of exhaustion which could allow you to workout longer and harder without even realizing.

Music is known to have psychological effects and can affect one’s mood in a negative or positive way. While listening to music that enhances your mood, you will be in a better mindset and in turn have a better workout.

If you want to get more technical, you can calculate the beats per minute (BPM) of your favorite tune and use that during specific types of workouts to get the best results. For example, songs with BPM around 160-180 are best for high intensity cardio while songs with BPM around 120-140 are better for lower intensity cardio such as jogging.

Listening to music while exercising can benefit you and your workout in numerous, technical ways. More importantly, however, it makes your workout more enjoyable and when you’re able to enjoy what you’re doing you’re more likely to do it again.

Writer: Emma Regenbaum


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