Working out sucks on so many levels. You’re sweating and probably in pain, but its all somewhat okay because you’re sweating and in pain to your favorite song. Theres no doubt that listening to music enhances your work out.
According to an article from Active.com, research of listening to music while exercise started in the 1920s and is still being done today. One of the first studies done in 1935, lead by PD Robert Sewak, discovered that a simple tempo change in a song cause the respiration rate of a person to change. As they uncovered more data, researchers found that music also changed the heart rate of the person, affected their blood pressure and metabolic rate, and reduced stress and fatigue. All of these things help energy flow around the body. The real question now it how does music do this?
After the music enters a person’s ears, the sound waves then turn into vibrations. These vibrations than travel to the brain. One they are in the brain, they influence the brain and therefore your body movements. For example, Dr. Costas Karageorphis, author of Inside Sport Psychology, conducted a study on cyclists who listened to music through headphones rather than just in the background. He found that those who listening through headphones needed 7% less oxygen to do the same amount of work than those who listened without headphones.
Dr. Karageorphis also looked further into his data to find that music helps in many other areas. First off, music helps distract from the physical activity one is doing. That is mostly why I listen to music while working out..to actually forget i’m working out. He also discovered that music creates emotion while exercising. For example, if a song comes on that correlates with a happy memory, it will boost your energy.
Dr. Karageorghis also states the positive effect of music synchronizing with movement. By doing this, it results in greater endurance and more calories burned. This is majorly why so many athletes listen to fast music while working out. The tempo of the music is a direct reflection of the beats per minute your heart does. For runners, they listen to fast tempo music, but for yoga people, they listen to slower-tempo music. The slower music helps calm their body and help them practice balance.
No matter the physical activity, I am a firm believer in listening to music while working out. It makes the activity seem not as bad and distracts from the sweat dripping down your back and you sing along (hopefully in your head) to your favorite song.