It’s fun to exercise to music. And it’s actually been proven to help you exercise better and longer.
Scientists have found that working out to music has all sorts of benefits:
- Music can make you feel like you’re not working as hard as you really are. Because it makes you feel happier, it can give you a boost to keep moving even if you’re tired or uncomfortable.
- If you match the beat of the music to your workout, whether it’s running or walking or aerobics or weight training, it can help pace your movement – and that can help you work out longer.
- Exercising to music helps you “go with the flow” – to feel like you can keep your mind on your movement, and keep moving.
- What type of music should you work out to? That’s up to you. Pick what’s fun, but also think about trying to match the beat to whatever physical activity you’ve chosen.
Studies show that most people say they feel that music helps make their exercise better. It seems clear that music makes people like exercise better and helps them feel better exercising. That means that if you work out to music, you’re probably going to have a good time. And that means you’ll be more likely to keep up with your exercise.
Remember, keep music at a low level so you don’t damage your hearing. Keep headphone volume low or don’t use headphones outside if at all possible because it blocks out noise that might warn you of danger, such as the sound of traffic, horns, and dogs barking.
- At an annual half-marathon in London called “Race to the Beat,” runners hear live music all along their route.
- When the organizers of the New York Marathon banned music in 2007, hundreds of runners simply disobeyed the rule, risking disqualification. They wanted to run to the beat!
The web is full of all sorts of workout play lists. You can find song suggestions from everyone from American Idol judge Randy Jackson to teen pop star Taylor Swift. You can find workout play lists organized by type of music, like hip-hop, pop, or techno, and by type of exercise (weights, treadmill, spinning, etc.) You can find high-intensity workout songs and cool-down songs and a lot of times you can find music categorized by how many beats per minute the song has in it. Try remixes, as well, which are usually longer and have a good beat. The iTunes store has a workout music section, and check out Fitness Magazine’s top 100 exercise songs.
This article has been reviewed by BodiMojo expert Karin Pfeiffer.