There’s no denying the power of music, especially when it comes to working out. Athletes commonly use music during their preparation because of the positive effect it has on performance. A playlist can be the difference between an average and an amazing sweat session, and research shows that exercising to music can do everything from decrease your perceived exertion and level of discomfort right through to enhance your mood and even boost your performance.
Here are 3 ways music can help put the work in your next workout…
1. It decreases your perceived exertion
A pumping playlist can passively distract your mind from how hard your body is working, which means you don’t register just how tired or fatigued you might be feeling. What does that mean? You’re able to push harder and for longer. For this reason, music is often referred to as a legal performance enhancing drug…
2. It enhances enjoyment
Just like a good song magnetizes you to the dancefloor, music can trigger the kind of positive emotion that will help you get greater enjoyment from the activity… yep, even when you exercise. Believe it or not, it’s not the champagne that keeps you dancing for hours at a time on a girl’s night out, it’s the music. Compile all your Saturday night faves into the same playlist and see how much more enjoyable your next run is.
3. It can decrease stress and anxiety
Listening to music while you workout can help reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, that nasty stress hormone that can cause stress and anxiety and can actually spike during high intensity exercise when the body propels itself into fight or flight response. The calming effect music has on both the mind and body can counteract the release of this hormone and bring you back to a level place.
Best songs to work out to:
When it comes to compiling a playlist, it’s advantageous to choose songs that have the same BPM (beats per minute) as your target heart rate. For a moderate to high intensity workout, ideally tracks should be between 120 and 140 beats per minute.
- Viva La Vida – Coldplay
- Drunk In Love – Beyoncé
- When You Were Young – The Killers
- Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
- Wake Me Up – Aviici
- Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself – Jess Glynne
- Feel It – Tiesto
- Dilema – Nelly
- Little Lion Man – Mumford and Sons
- Call Me – Blondie
- Hotel California – Eagles
- Applause – Lady Gaga
- Harlem Shake – Baauer
- If I lose Myself – One Republic
- Bad Blood – Taylor Swift