What do you listen to when you run, cycle or hit the gym? If you’re trying to get through your fitness routine in silence, chances are you're not really getting the full benefits of your workout. Many people will tell you that they prefer to listen to music while they exercise, and it turns out that workout music is scientifically proven to assist with mens fitness routines. Read on to discover why.
Interest in analyzing the effects of workout music on physical activity began long before the age of iPods and smartphones. In fact, studies into the connection between listening to music and enhanced athletic performance were conducted as early as 1910 back when it wasn't possible to listen to music on any type of wireless or wearable device.
With years of research, scientists now understand what happens when a man listens to music while he works out. Music is detected by the auditory cortex located by the ear. Then, electrical signals from the auditory cortex sends electrical signals to various parts of the brain involved with regulating movement, including the motor cortex , the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. By activating these areas of the brain, the music actually helps the brain power the body through movements. In other words, the right song can help you get moving! Studies show that songs with a regular tempo between 120 to 140 beats per minute have the most dramatic energizing effect on the motion centers of the brain.
The link between music and memory also serves to benefit you while you're working out. When you listen to a song that stirs up memories of the past, you're providing yourself with a distraction that can allow you to ignore feelings of fatigue and muscle pain, so that you can work out for longer. Songs with lyrics that you like to follow can also serve as a distraction and help you continue to work out when you might otherwise give up.
Workout music doesn't just impact your brain. According to researchers, fast music has the ability to accelerate your heart rate, so it can be an excellent companion to cardiovascular exercise. Slower music has the opposite effect, so switching from a fast playlist with a steady tempo to something softer and slower can help you to cool down after a strenuous session at the gym or a vigorous run more efficiently.
So what kind of workout music is right for you? The answer really will depend on your fitness level, how you work out and what your goals are. You can experiment with creating different playlists yourself or sign up for a music app that provides pre-made playlists for different types of workouts. Just as the key to mens fitness is keeping up with your routine and finding what works for you, discovering the perfect workout music to help you power through your workouts means continuing to try new things until you finally discover what beat will get you moving best.