Many of us listen to music when we work out, but did you know that music can actually boost the effectiveness of your workout and fight workout fatigue? For instance, have you ever been walking briskly or jogging while listening to your mp3 player, and when you finish your workout, you feel like you could go farther? Have you ever felt a surge of energy in the middle of a workout, making you able to physically push beyond your previous limitations, and wondered how it happened?
Dr. Costas Karageorghis, a sports and exercise psychologist at Brunel University, performed some very interesting research regarding the effects of music on workout efficiency. His 21-year study yielded some very interesting results, which showed that music has not only psychological effects on the body while working out, but has some distinct physiological effects as well.
Music can help trick your mind into feeling less workout fatigue. It distracts you so that you are not concentrating on your energy or exertion level, but just enjoying the music. This distraction is also helpful when the workout is very repetitive, by helping to prevent boredom.
By using music that matches the pace of your movements, you can give yourself a psychological boost when you are approaching fatigue and exhaustion. Studies have shown that stamina can be increased simply by using appropriately-paced music when participating in workouts with repetitive movements. This is very helpful for athletes who run and or walk long distances.
In addition, if you choose to work out to music you enjoy, it will help increase your motivation and enjoyment during workouts, so you will be more likely to stick with your program. It promotes a positive mood and deflects negative thoughts about working out.
Matching your music to the tempo of your movements can help you regulate your movements and reduce the amount of oxygen required by your body, allowing you to work out harder and derive more results. In addition, working out to the pace of music can help you improve coordination and motor skills.
Many athletes use music with a driving beat to help pump them up before a game or competition. This is because music of this type can act as a stimulant and cause your respiration and cardiac rate to increase, thus intensifying your workout and fighting workout fatigue. Conversely, slower paced music can calm you down and help provide greater focus, which is helpful for activities with slower, more controlled movements, such as yoga.
Music not only helps fight workout fatigue through psychological avenues, but the effect of music on the brain also affects the body in a physiological way as well. So, the next time you get ready to work out, find some music that you enjoy, and see how it affects your workout. Make sure that the beat fits the pace of your workout, and learn to enjoy fitness!