It is a very common sight to see athletes, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts or even the common public hitting the gym with earphones or headphones plugged on while working out. These people are onto something. The relation between physical activity and music is established.
Music cuts out distractions from the external world and sets a rhythm to the movements of your body. The sound waves that come from music hit your ears and are converted to vibrations or beats, and the signals get transmitted to your brain. The voluntary and involuntary actions of the body get coordinated with these vibrations, and you will notice your hands and feet move according to the beats. This is because the brain transmits back the motor functions according to the vibrations.
Even your heart starts beating at a specific, regular rate when you exercise while listening to music. In so doing, your heart is strengthened (the heart is a muscle) and your blood pressure gets controlled. In fact, slow-paced music tends to calm you down and make you more relaxed, based on the aforementioned explanation. When you exercise while listening to music it relieves stress and boosts your overall mood. You are also able to sleep better, control your weight and improve your memory, which all come together to improve your overall well-being and health.
If you are wondering how exactly listening to music while working out is beneficial as opposed to exercising without music, then keep reading below.
Advantages of listening to music while working out
Apart from improving your mood and raising your energy levels for a good workout, listening to music while working out has other advantages:
1. It distracts your mind from pain and discomfort.
You may have a lot of things in your mind, the pressures of work, the problems of a relationship, financial issues etcetera, but listening to music and working out is a momentary escape from the reality and helps you shut out the world.
You do not need to take music lessons or be very knowledgeable about music to enjoy it. A basic understanding of the tempo of your liking is enough to take you to a different world and relieve you of the pain and discomfort, which can be both physical and emotional.
2. It makes exercise more enjoyable.
Some people enjoy their music no matter when they are listening to it. A sense of euphoria is achieved. The same works while listening to music during a workout or while you are exercising. When your favorite song comes on, it automatically cheers you up and motivates you to work much harder. A fast-paced song will lift you up and make you match your workout tempo, and the efforts you put in will be considerably increased. It is common to see people shaking their head or swinging their body in between repetition workout sets, a testimony of the fact that they are enjoying their music, which subsequently is converted to enjoying their workout schedule.
3. It reduces physical and mental stress.
There is a strong mental connection between the functioning of your body and music. In case you are under a lot of mental stress, music helps in distracting your mind away from the issues bothering you. It is a strong instigator of positive emotions and memories. A song that you used to listen to when you were younger, while playing in your backyard or while doing other activities will bring back the memories and this will pump you up more. Music also helps you fight physical stress by arousing you to move according to the tempo of the songs you are listening to. Thus, music not only alters your mood for the better, but also motivates you to work harder.
4. It helps set the pace for a strong workout.
Music helps you set or control the pace for your workout. Different musical beats per minute (bpm) are ideal for different exercises, which is scientifically proven. Since bpm can determine the rate at which your heart pumps blood, the amount of blood coursing through your body can also be determined or regulated by altering the beats per minute. You can thus control the rate at which the heart pumps and carries oxygen to the various muscles and parts of your body by creating and listening to a predetermined exercise playlist with the right bpm for a more efficient workout.
Once your workout is synchronized with the beats of the music you are listening to, it generally leads to you hitting peak levels while exercising and your fitness and endurance also increasing. While walking, the tempo should ideally be around 135-140 bpm, and for running it is increased to around 170 bpm. Choosing songs with these appropriate BPMS is going to help.
5. It increases metabolism and energy efficiency.
There is an amazing relation between music and your body's metabolic rate. Listening to music helps in regulating the metabolism of the body by increasing it, and thus whatever nutrition is taken in is broken down and utilized faster. This leads to an increased availability of energy generated during this metabolic process itself. Thus, music during a workout helps you utilize more energy and take your workout program up by a notch.
From the above points, it is clear that music and workout have a clear positive relation. Therefore, next time you hit the gym or go for a run, plug in your headphones, delve into your world and work out like never before. You’ll be healthier, fitter and more capable of meeting all your goals and dreams.