Whether you’re in the final stages of a half-marathon, mid-way through an especially taxing spin class, or attempting a few new yoga positions – a big tune can offer the helping hand you need to power on through the more difficult stages of your workout. It could be Aretha, it could be Ariana, it could even be Astley! Whatever your tracks of choice, here are a few reasons to stick them in a playlist the next time you’re exercising…
To Help With Pace
Rhythm is a big part of any workout, and a song with a strong beat can work wonders on your performance in self-paced exercises such as weight-lifting, running, or circuit training. Research has shown that tracks with ‘high groove qualities’ activate the brain’s motor system, in turn inducing rhythmic movement in the listener – meaning not only will your pacing improve, but so will your desire to actually move. For maximum effect, pick a track between 120 and 140 beats per minute.
To Elevate Your Mood
There’s nothing like a bad mood to kill the vibe of a workout. Start and end your playlist with more upbeat, uplifting tracks to ensure you’re starting and finishing the workout on a high. Whether it was an awful day at work, an argument with your other half, or you’re just not feeling great – music has the ability to override a negative attitude going in to a session, making that workout easier and far more enjoyable.
To Distract You
One thing that can really hinder you mid-workout is focusing too much on the exertion itself, over thinking each and every rep, mile, or set, instead of concentrating on what really matters – the end goal. A good playlist will offer a distraction to those who succumb to this, and will leave you hitting those targets without even realising it. Also a handy solution if you’re the type who’s easily distracted by others working out around them!
You saw what ‘Eye of The Tiger’ did for Rocky, right? Well you’ll be pleased to know that there’s real, concrete science behind music’s ability to motivate and stimulate, with studies showing that tracks we associate with positive memories boost the motivational power of the song, in turn improving physical performance. Pick a song with particularly motivational lyrics and you’ll be smashing those PBs left, right and centre.
Like what you read? Keep an eye out for the first of our ‘Power Playlists’ this October.
As always, stay fit and stay healthy!