Turn up the music for a better workout

Turn up the music for a better workout

It's often hard to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning and head straight for the gym. In fact, simply making yourself exercise is often more difficult than the physical activity itself! But working out improves the immune system and may even lower cholesterol among many other health benefits, so it's important to schedule a workout into your calendar. One thing that may help to increase your motivation and get you on your way to exercising to the best of your ability is music.

According to a study conducted by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, music can indeed have a profound effect on a workout. In the study, 12 healthy male college students were asked to ride stationary bikes while listening to music of various tempos popular among the undergraduate population. The results showed that when the tempo decreased, their pedaling did too, along with their heart rate and mileage. On the other hand, when they listened to more upbeat tunes, they produced more power per pedal and covered more miles in the same period of time. A faster tempo often forces the body to move in time with the rhythm of the music.

While these fast-beat songs didn't seem to take away from the toughness of the workout, participants of the study did notice that they seemed to be more motivated to push themselves.

As many may already know, working out isn't always the most mentally stimulating activity. It often gets boring and we need a way to keep that motivation going throughout the duration of the exercise. Listening to music is a way of keeping your mind busy so you're not as focused on how hard you're working. It may not be that music directly motivates you – it's a combination of your body responding to the music even before your mind realizes it and your heart rate increasing in correspondence with tempo.

Here are some upbeat songs that may pump up your workout and take it to the next level:

  • "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes
  • "Harlem Shake" by Baauer
  • "Wolfmother" by Joker and the Thief
  • "Troublemaker" by Olly Murs & Flo Rida
  • "Take A Walk" by Passion Pit
  • "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go
  • "Please Don't Stop the Music" by Rihanna
  • "Shake It Out" by Florence & The Machine
  • "Come & Get It" by Selena Gomez
  • "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk & Pharrell

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