MUSIC & EXERCISE

You decide to go for a run on a sunny Saturday morning. You put on your running shoes, put on your headphones, turn on your favorite playlist and go running! After a while, fatigue starts to set in, but this is immediately mitigated by the power of the music coming out of your headphones.
So why does music help so well with exercise? The answer is not far fetched! – Music is power, energy and life.

Exercise often comes with fatigue and pain and the role of music is to distract the mind from the pain caused by the activity. However, music does not only distract.
There are a lot more benefits of listening to music while exercising.

1. Dissociation
Music can move the focus of your attention from the fatigue caused by workouts to the pleasure derived from listening to your favorite music. This is caused by music’s ability to trigger positive emotions and to decrease the perception of negative emotions such as depression, anger and tension.

2. Activation
Music helps regulate the activation of certain emotions. The tempo of music plays a crucial role. A fast tempo will increase the excitement, intensity and the arousal of emotions, while slower tempo is more used for calming down and relaxing. That’s why lot of athletes listen to music before/after training/competition in order to calm down their nerves or to energize themselves.

3. State of flow
Music helps you to enter a state of total intrinsic motivation, concentration and focus which is necessary to perform at your very best.
How do you choose the right music for working out? Well, unfortunately the answer is not so straightforward. Musical tastes differ. Not everyone loves pumping loud beats. However, a general pattern can still be found. First of all, think about which type of workout you’re about to do. Choose a type of music where the rhythm and tempo match with the exercises.
It is important to take the intensity of the activity into account. When we want to raise the heart rate while doing a workout, such as cardio, it is better to select music where there is a gradual raise of the tempo.

From the lyrics to the rhythm or tempo, music can dramatically affect your performance by changing your mind-set or distracting you from discomfort or pain.