Researchers at Brunel University in England have studied the effects of music on performance during an athletic task and have found that it may actually be beneficial to include those headphones when packing up to go to the gym.
Dr. Costas Karageorghis, head of the Music in Sport research group at the university, has devoted his professional career to examining the mental and physical effects that music can have during sport and exercise. Through findings from his studies, he suggests that music can block out fatigue-related symptoms and create a positive experience throughout the uncomfortable moments of a workout.
“Music lowers your perception of effort. It can trick your mind into feeling less tired during a workout, and also encourage positive thoughts”. Dr. Karageorghis states that music can in fact reduce how hard we feel we’re working by up to 10%. This could allow us to push ourselves further than if we were left to focus on the physical and emotional feelings that result from exerting ourselves.
Certain tempos of music have also been credited with triggering the brain activity responsible for putting us in a motivated state. Dr. Karageorghis also suggests that it’s not just the pace of the music that can have this affect, it’s also the lyrics. “The former world champion boxer, Chris Eubank, used to use the Tina Turner track Simply the Best due to the inspirational message in the lyrics”.
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Dr. Karageorghis provides suggestions for tracks to add to your playlist in an interview with BBC.
What’s on your workout playlist?