Connection Between Our Ears and Our Feet
As both a fitness enthusiast and music lover, I’ve been curious about why it is that music makes working out easier. I find that keeping the playlist on my iPod shuffle is just as important to my daily run as tying my shoes is. So what’s the deal? Why does music make exercise so much more bearable?
According to a British sports psychologist’s study, music carries motivational qualities that help us power through our sweat sessions. Internal factors that are related to music structure are important for measuring how our body physically interprets the music. Rhythmic response, which is tied to beats per minute (bpm) and how well it matches the cadence or heartbeat of the listener has the potential to increase the efficiency of your workout. If you sync a song’s bpm with your exercise pace, your body will require less oxygen than it would when performing in silence. It also has the power to deceive your body of the effort that it’s exerting. In other words, it helps block out that little voice in your head that’s telling you to quit. Matching the beat to your heartbeat can also increase motivational levels.
External factors, like melody and harmony, are also important aspects of music that can contribute to your mental success during physical activity. Preferences, musical background, and experience association all have positive mood-lifting effects on the brain that can help improve your mood, thus improving your workout.
While each person will have their own set of tracks that will get that gets them moving, here are a few selections from my playlist to get you started: