Music and Exercise

Nov 05

Music and Exercise

I apologize that I missed Monday’s post – things are always a little awkward when you aren’t at home.  However, let me make sure I don’t miss TWO days.

As I cleaned out my inbox today I found some very interesting information about music and exercise from Dr. Mercola‘s site, and thought I’d share it with you.

Listening to Music While Exercising Boosts Brain Power

Research has shown that listening to music while exercising not only improves mood, but may also boost cognitive levels. An example of this was seen in higher scores among cardiac rehabilitation patients on verbal fluency tests. The study looked at the effects of music combined with short-term exercise and found that people diagnosed with coronary artery disease had enhanced brainpower after listening to music while exercising.

music and exerciseParticipants of the study included 33 men and women who had undergone bypass surgery, angioplasty or cardiac catherization and were in the final weeks of their cardiac rehabilitation. Each of the participants were required to take a verbal fluency test before and after two separate sessions of working out on a treadmill for 30 minutes at a time. The workouts were scheduled one week apart and one took place with classical music playing in the background.

The study also had the participants fill out a 30-item checklist, which included adjectives to describe the patient’s current mood, before and after exercising as a way to assess their anxiety and depression levels. The study concluded that participants claimed they felt better both emotionally and mentally after exercising regardless if they listened to music or not.

However, signs of improvement in the verbal fluency areas were more than doubled after listening to music compared to that of the non-music session.

Dr. Mercola also had a second article that was very interesting as well:

How Can Your Workout Benefit From Music?

As stated earlier, exercising to music has more benefits than just making your workout more fun. As sport psychologist Costas Karageorghis explained, listening to music while working out can:

  1. Reduce your perception of how hard you are working by about 10 percent during low-to-moderate intensity activity.
  2. Profoundly influence your mood; elevating the positive aspects, such as vigor, excitement and happiness, and reducing depression, tension, fatigue, anger and confusion.
  3. Be used to set an appropriate warm-up, workout, and cool-down pace.
  4. Be used to overcome fatigue, and control your emotions if you’re in a competition.

According to Karageorghis’ research, music is most effective when you are losing steam and need some motivation to keep going — not as a constant stimulus. He recommends doing two workouts with music to every one without, so the effect of the music is not dulled.

Committing yourself to a regular exercise routine is just as important as following a nutritious eating program. Taking into consideration these positive benefits from music and exercising, I would encourage those working out at their local gyms to add a little music to their workout routine.

So, go get your iPod, and head outside for some great, all-’round health and wellness therapy!

Happy Walking!


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