Why Music Keeps Us Motivated When We Workout
Ever wondered why your headphones seem to be an essential part of your workout kit? Regardless of whether you like to plug in a pair of wireless earbuds while you’re at the gym or pump up the volume on your Bluetooth speakers when exercising at home, music has always made us want to move our feet, but why?
Thanks to many studies, it’s now been scientifically proven that listening to music during your workouts can actually boost your athletic performance and even give you a competitive edge. So, join us as we check out the various reasons and the science behind why music is so motivational when it comes to donning your trainers and working out.
Fend off fatigue with your favourite tracks
If you often find yourself struggling to wake up for your morning workout or craving your bed in the evening instead of a bracing run, it’s worth bearing in mind that workout music can actually help to prevent tiredness from setting in. Indeed, not only can playing music during physical activity delay feelings of fatigue, but it can also lessen the perception of fatigue. In simple terms, blasting some motivational music while exercising is fantastic for fending off fatigue and feeling less tired post-workout!
While your personal level of fitness and the intensity of your exercises will naturally play a part in how tired you feel after working out, turning on those tunes can help you to feel energised enough to get through even the most exhausting workouts. This is because listening to music during exercise has ergogenic effects which enhances your physical performance - perfect for when you need that extra motivational push.
So, what’s the science behind this fatigue-busting musical magic? Well, playing music activates a region of the brain called the left inferior frontal gyrus, which is in charge of the motor output of language as well as processing information from both internal and external sources. When this region is activated during a workout, the perceived level of exertion for the exerciser is significantly lessened, allowing you to carry on testing those limits.
Loosen up by working out with tunes
Although some of the most exhilarating workouts can be spurred on by feelings of excitement, stress or even angst, listening to calming music as opposed to your more traditional workout motivation music can prevent you from getting too amped up. So, if you’re preparing to jump into an intense workout, it’s worth putting on some slower music (around 80 to 115 beats per minute) to help slow your heart rate down and allow you to relax a little.
Not to mention, you should also pay attention to how your choice of music makes you feel. If you find typical workout music too lively or overwhelmingly distracting, then why not try out classical music? The slower tempo of this type of music is ideal for unwinding during a relaxing yoga session or getting you into the right frame of mind prior to a big race or athletic event.
Plus, slow jams instead of speedy killer beats can also help you to recover faster by bringing your quickened heart rate back down to Earth. Soothing tunes are therefore great for reducing cardiac stress, lowering your blood pressure and promoting recovery after your exercise session. So, if you want to get back up and running (literally!) as quickly as possible, your best bet is to chill out with some stress-alleviating music hits.
Instantly improve your coordination
Ever wondered why working out feels so much easier when paired with motivational music? The rhythmic tunes naturally give your body a beat to follow. Regardless of whether you prefer running on a treadmill or landing a few well-timed kicks on your punch bag, giving your brain a steady beat to follow will help to keep you on the right track - even if you’ve got two left feet!
Some studies in this exciting area have even found that listening to music you like stimulates electrical activity in parts of the brain that are responsible for coordinating your body’s movements. This is another reason why exercise classes like spin sessions that blast workout music can make you feel more motivated and are often easier to follow than fitness tutorial videos without sound.
Turn challenges into a cinch
As anyone who’s ever participated in a professional workout knows, they’re by no means a walk in the park. However, they can certainly be made that little easier with a musical addition coursing through your home speaker system. Particularly useful for taking on those brutal exercise classes and mammoth marathons, creating the ultimate playlist filled with an abundance of workout motivation music can leave you feeling ready to take on the world.
Indeed, the right jams can take your attention away from the intensity of the workout itself and allow you to get lost in the music. Acting as an audio distraction, you can disconnect your mind from the physical exertion and focus on the pleasant sensations derived from your top tracks instead. Plus, a motivating playlist can even decrease your perceived level of exertion to make your workout feel less strenuous.
Don’t forget to pick up the perfect pair of headphones
To prevent yourself from losing motivation mid-workout, it’s important to snap up headphones that provide a snug fit, deliver high-quality immersive audio and give you enough freedom to workout however you want. After all, if you plan on fuelling your training with music, you’ll need the right tools for the job. Given recent advances in technology, wireless headphones and earphones are now a popular choice on the audio market as they’re designed to provide you with ultimate freedom while working out.
Especially useful for exercises that require arm movement and flexibility, you’ll never be distracted by a flailing or restrictive headphone cord again. Not only are the best workout headphones often wireless but they tend to offer a better fit, too. Headphones that feature an adjustable headband or earphones with secure-fit sports ear hooks are typically more reliable and comfortable for working out.
With so many styles and brands to explore, purchasing the perfect pair of headphones for your workout is essential for listening to your motivational music. If you’re searching for some inspiration when it comes to the best running headphones, or need some advice on how to hunt for the perfect pair, our selection of informative buyer’s guides are just what you need to help you find the best ones that won’t budge - no matter what you throw at them!
Always listen to your body’s boundaries
While there are limits to the wonders of music and playing your favorite tunes in the gym certainly won’t transform you from workout novice to exercise expert overnight, it’s clear that popping on your headphones during your workout has many benefits. However, it’s important to bear in mind that there’s a big difference between using motivational music to help smash your workout goals and using it to distract yourself from considerable pain.
If you begin to experience complete exhaustion, or sharp, stabbing, and shooting pains after your musically-motivated workouts, it’s advisable to stop and listen to your body. Although not every workout session can be fun-filled and pain-free, the human body does have physical limits. Particularly important if this pain continues, we suggest seeking help from your GP or medical profession to give you guidance on how to exercise to suit your level of fitness.
When used properly, music is much more likely to make you feel more positive about working out and maintain your motivation for longer. So, pop on your ultimate workout playlist and pick up those dumbbells, it’s time to put those tunes to work, find your groove and tackle those exercise goals! Just remember to fill up your water bottle, you’re going to need it!