Dancing, nodding our head, tapping our feet or running that extra mile; music has the power to move us. Over the last 10 years there has been abundant research connecting music to improved conditions of both the mind and the body during physical extertion. “It’s pretty definitive that music is performance enhancing” and music has been linked to improved moods, increased endurance and distraction from fatigue, perception of effort, and even improved metabolic efficiency.
Music and pace
As early as 1911 research has linked music to the pace of phycial activity. Two of the most important qualities of music are tempo (speed) and rhythm and these can synchronise the efficiency of, as well as stimulate increased phycial activity.
Music and motivation
A 2017 study concluded that music helped lengthen the participation in exercise leading to increased endurance. Research has linked music to increased quality and performance of physical activity. “Given that exercise is often tiresome, boring and arduous” music can contribute to our motivation to continue participation and attain goals set for our exercise sessions.
Music and distraction
“The human body is constantly monitoring itself” and recognises when fatigue begins. Music can distract us from the effects of exercise by competing with this brain monitoring and can change perception of the effort used in physical exercise. Selecting the most effective music as a distraction is not as simple as selcting fast, high-energy songs however. We should also consider the memories and emotions asscoiated with both the music and the lyrics of songs we select.
Music can contribute towards both physiological and psychological factors of phycial exercise and could be the element that helps you to achieve your personal fitness goals.