Betty Doyling

Let the music play!

  • In the foreground: according to research, music can help make exercise more manageable

When I start my workout I love to listen to music; I actually find it challenging to exercise without it.

According to research, listening to music can distract us from our bodily awareness making workouts seem a bit more manageable.

Below, a how-to on improving your next workout session:

1, Find something upbeat

While there is more to it than just distraction, working out with music does make us less aware of our exertion which can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 per cent.

Songs that have between 120 and 140 beats per minute have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers. Upbeat tunes have more information for our brains to process — which takes your mind off the burn in your thighs from that squat.

2, Music can calm you down

Yes, you can get too pumped. Slower music, 80 to 115 beats per minute, can help slow your heart rate before or after a particularly intense workout.

And while the beats matter, lyrics and how you feel about the music can impact your emotions and help you regain control.

3, Choose your favourite songs

Everyone has that favourite song that gets you “in the zone” and there’s science to why it works.

We associate memories with certain songs.

They boost the motivational power of the song and have been shown to improve overall physical performance.

4, Push harder

The right music can distract you from the extra effort in your workout.

This means that you can work out harder and get a better workout overall, without feeling like you are.

However, don’t worry, you can’t completely blow past your body’s limits.

Music is less effective at decreasing your perceived level of exertion when you’re working to your max.

Once your heart rate climbs into the anaerobic zone, (80 to 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate) music stops working; your body and your muscles’ desire for oxygen become louder than your beats.

Despite all that music isn’t magic and can’t, unfortunately, make every workout a fun jam session.

However, music can transform a miserable workout into something to look forward to. The right songs can have awesome effects on your mind and body.

Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than a decade of experience. Check her out on Facebook: