Music is many things: it is restorative, motivating, moving and educational. There are endless ways to use music to spend our days, whether it’s listening to a sad song on repeat or hitting on a catchy song.
According to Ronna Kaplan, music therapist and adjunct professor of music therapy at Cleveland State University, “Music is positive in many ways for mental health, it can be used throughout life” in many different situations. .
One of those ways is during exercise. This can be a crucial part of improving your training. Here’s how:
Your body movements naturally match the beat of a song, which can help you stick to a specific beat.
There’s a reason your foot starts tapping or your shoulders start moving as soon as a song starts. According to Joy Allen, chair of music therapy and director of the Institute of Music and Health at Berklee College of Music in Boston, this is due to rhythmic entrainment, which is an “unconscious reaction – that’s what we call the ‘coaching”.
“Our body will [move] in time with that sound or beat,” she said.
So when it comes to exercise, your body automatically matches the tempo of the music “because of how our brains are wired to the beat,” Allen said.
When choosing music for a workout, like when you’re walking or running, for example, you’ll want to choose a tempo close to your natural stride. “Go [with] whatever feels comfortable to you and play along to different songs,” she said.
You can also use music to increase your pace.
If you’re looking for an extra challenge, choose a song with a beat that’s a little faster than your average running or walking stride, this should help you move faster throughout your workout.
You can start with a song with a slower tempo and gradually increase your speed by choosing songs with faster beats, which is great if you’re looking to improve your walking or running pace, according to Kaplan.
“It prepares the person for an outside signal,” she said. It “helps your muscles activate in their walking pattern.”
How many times has someone walked into the gym, realized they forgot their headphones, then did a not-so-great workout – or even left the gym altogether? Allen pointed out that it’s a common occurrence: there’s a major reason why music is such a big part of so many people’s workouts.
The music you listen to during a workout helps with motivation, and there are several things behind that motivation.
First, you probably want to hear your favorite song on your workout list, which can keep you going longer. Second, if you put on unexpected music (like putting on reggaeton instead of your usual pop soundtrack), you’ll be interested to hear what comes next in the song, which can also keep you moving longer. than usual.
“If you always listen to the same thing, sometimes it’s great [but] sometimes we feel the fatigue of it – we know what to expect and what’s coming, so it can be a little less motivating,” Allen said.
And the music is entertaining.
No one wants to focus on their tough training while they’re at it. If anything they want not Think about it. When you sing lyrics or recall music-induced memories, songs let your mind wander through an exercise program, so you don’t have to stand (or sit) and think. to the difficulty of your workout.
Music also keeps you from feeling bored during a workout, which can happen when you’re doing something mundane like walking on a treadmill, Allen noted. Music activates the brain by giving your mind something to think about.
“It captures your attention… ‘oh, here’s something I’m listening to,’ so I don’t mind what could be an uncomfortable exercise experience, it gives me something else to focus on,” said Allen said.
You will reap even more benefits when you choose your music.
According to Kaplan, when someone chooses the music they listen to, they get better results, whether it’s exercising or doing something like meditation.
A recent study conducted by the Department of Kinesiology at Samford University in Alabama stated, “If the music played over the speakers is not preferred by the exerting individual, performance may suffer. Thus, coaches and athletes must consider individual musical preferences when trying to optimize performance and training.
It’s a testament to the motivation you feel when you train to music you love.
Additionally, Kaplan said you may notice that you’re in a better mood when working out to the music you select, which may make you feel like you’ve enjoyed your workout more. And it’s a win-win.
This can mean you’ll be more likely to train again that week, which is a great way to reach your fitness goals.
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