Working out can be a pretty tedious and mundane activity at times. You can do a variety of things to break up the tedium like reading or watching something, but one of the most beneficial things to do while working out is listening to music. We spoke to sports psychologist, Paul Penna, about the link between exercise and music.
Is listening to music while you exercise beneficial?
Yes for sure. Music effects our mood so it can make us more motivated to exercise by pumping us up or destressing us from a busy day. It can also make exercise a lot less laborious by putting us in a better frame of mind.
What's the best kind of music to listen to while you exercise?
I recommend having 4-5 different playlists that can be adapted through your mood and what you want to achieve.
For starters you could have 20 songs that have a fast, consistent beat like Sweet Nothing by Calvin Harris which can help you exercise to that rhythm and then 20 songs with powerful lyrics like Stronger by Kanye West which can inspire you to work harder and longer.
Is there a way people can structure their music to make working out more effective? Does the placement of certain songs in a workout affect how you exercise?
Spotify has pulled together a list of the most popular workout songs and there's some uptempo ones and some more sedate tunes that made the list so you may want to get started with some slower songs and then build up to faster-paced songs as you begin to increase intensity.
Are the benefits purely psychological when it comes to music and exercise?
Music can allow you to exercise more effectively which can have physical and psychological benefits once your workout is complete including improving your sleep, your ability to relax and your general mood. Music also makes it easier to get in a "flow state" which basically means you're working rhythmically in a kind of hypnotised state and are less conscious of the effort you're exerting.
Here is Paul Penna's own workout mix so you can get a feel for what you need:
What's your favourite workout song?
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