The Effectiveness of Workout Music


headphones

If you were to ask a group of people about what they would bring if they were ever stranded on a deserted island, I’m sure the lists would be a little bit similar. In fact I could almost guarantee that more than a few individuals would have music on that list.

Music is something special. Its variety transcends limitations and audiences, and can touch people in a multitude of ways. 90 percent of surgeons operate to music. MP3 players have replaced compact discs, and even the manufacturers of automobiles are constantly adding MP3 capabilities into their cars to ensure that drivers and passengers have the most convenient setups possible.

If you had to bet on a place in the world where a lot of people would be listening to music, the gym would be a pretty safe bet. Health fanatics and exercise enthusiasts have long been known to hit the treadmills with their earbuds on. Music can be an effective tool in helping people to push through their workout. Whether it’s that extra minute on the treadmill or that extra rep on the weight bench, it would be hard to argue against the effectiveness of workout music.

A recent article in Scientific American analyzed not only the popularity of music for exercisers but also why it’s so effective. The article presented two very interesting findings: The first was that it’s not as simple as finding an uptempo song and blasting it as loudly as you can. Other factors including memories and emotions can play a key part as well. In other words, what you associate with certain music tracks is just as important as the music itself. The second finding was the most important: qualities of workout songs or music are the tempo, and what psychologists refer to as "rhythm response." In a nutshell, this refers to how much a song makes you want to “synchronize your movements with” (i.e.: tapping your toes or nodding your head). Faster songs with heavier beats tend to be more popular, as a study by researcher David Barney found that college students listened mostly to hip hop and rock while exercising.

Personally, I can’t imagine a workout without my MP3 player. There’s just something about running outside with my headphones on. There are also tons of great music apps to help you with your workout. To me, music and exercise simply go hand in hand.

How about you? What do you love working out to? Let us know in the comments!

Photo Credit: the.approximate.photographer


By Ryan Bisram| April 01, 2013
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Ryan Bisram

Ryan Bisram

Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is Naturally Savvy's Content Manager. He is also a Health Promoter who frequently contributes editorial pieces. - See more at: http://www.naturallysavvy.com/food-and-nutrition/the-un-coconut-water-would-you-drink-maple-water#sthash.jU9uOSAr.dpuf
Ryan Bisram is a contributing writer for NaturallySavvy.com.

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