Music Can Enhance Exercise Performance

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Upbeat music might make challenging exercises easier to complete.

According to the researchers, respondents enjoyed HIIT workouts more when fast-tempo music was played.

According to experts, upbeat music can make workouts more fun and even raise your heart rate. 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), which consists of brief, repeated bouts of intense activity followed by relaxation intervals, can be difficult for anyone.

It’s incredibly challenging to begin a HIIT workout if you’ve been sedentary for a long time.

“While HIIT is time-efficient and can elicit meaningful health benefits among adults who are insufficiently active, one major drawback is that people may find it unpleasant,” says Matthew Stork, a postdoctoral fellow at Canada’s University of British Columbia, Okanagan’s School of Health and Exercise Sciences. “As a result, participation may be discouraged in the future.”

Music could be the answer.

According to Stork’s research, which was published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, happy music can make HIIT workouts appear less tough.

It may even inspire folks who aren’t currently active to begin exercising.

Stork collaborated with Brunel University London researcher Costas Karageorghis, an expert on music and fitness, to put together a panel of experts to evaluate 16 high-tempo songs and choose the three most encouraging.

The tracks picked were Calvin Harris’ “Let’s Go” (with Ne-Yo), Linkin Park’s “Bleed It Out,” and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us.”

All featured faster-than-average tempos of more than 135 beats per minute (bpm).

The researchers next put a group of 24 people through a quick HIIT training, consisting of three 20-second all-out sprints separated by short rest periods for a total of 10 minutes (including warmup and cooldown periods).

Workout performance was evaluated using encouraging music, a non-musical podcast, and sessions with no audio.

When music was playing, participants said they had a better time doing HIIT. Their heart rate and peak performance throughout the workout were also increased in tandem with the beat.

“We expected inspiring music to make people enjoy exercising more, but we were shocked by the raised heart rate,” Stork told Healthline.

He pointed out that the findings are consistent with a well-known phenomenon known as “entrainment,” which is the tendency of humans to change their biological rhythms to the beat of the music.

Lyrics are important.

Researchers believe that, in addition to the tempo and beat of the three chosen songs, the motivational character of the lyrics may also play a role in boosting and sustaining workouts. “Let’s Go,” for example, encourages listeners to “make no excuses now,” and “Get Up” encourages listeners to “look for a better method to get out of bed, instead of jumping on the internet and finding out who hit me, get up.”

“Lyrics are definitely significant in terms of their motivational power,” said Joe Bennett, Ph.D., a musicologist at Boston’s Berklee College of Music.

Bennett also mentioned that the songs utilized in the study have additional qualities in common with high-energy dance music, such as a powerful “four on the floor” beat and explosive drops that build to a frenzy.

Music has a dissociative effect on lower-intensity exercises, such as jogging, according to research. It distracts you from any pain or discomfort encountered during the activity.

“You don’t seem to be exercising as much,” Stork observed.

“Music enhances your effort, motivates you to push over your limits, and mandates speed maintenance and/or increases.” “The body follows this more easily and naturally than silent thoughts of the mind or the sounds of one’s own breath,” Sara Davis, an instructor at CycleBar in Atlanta, Georgia, told Healthline.

However, when it comes to HIIT, “it appears that music is most helpful when it has a quick tempo and is highly motivating,” according to Stork.

“I have constantly experienced how music can push people to accomplish more than they would without music, especially when the music is matched to the workout motions,” Arien Reeberg, a Zumba teacher and fitness coach, concurred.14All suggestionsCLARITY… played fast-tempo musicUpdating suggestion…Consider rewriting this sentence in the active voice and specifying who or what performed the action. The passive voice isn’t an error, but it may be less clear and compelling in general writing.

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