Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise works wonders on the mind and body. Not only can music act as a motivational tool but it can help improve endurance and performance. And with increased motivation, endurance and performance come better health and better term life insurance rates.
According to recent research, there are four factors that contribute to a song’s motivational qualities: rhythm response, musicality, cultural impact and association. The first two are known as internal factors as they relate to the music’s structure while the second two are external factors that reflect how we interpret the music. Rhythm response is tied to the beats per minute (BPM) of the song and how well it matches the heartbeat of the runner. A song’s structure such as its melody and harmony contribute to its musicality. The external factors consider our musical background and the preferences we have for a certain genre of music and what we have learned to associate with certain songs and artists. All of these things add up to make our favorite song and workout partner.
Improve Endurance and Performance
Do you ever feel like when you are working out to your favorite album that you could just go forever? Listening to music while working out increases endurance by as much as 15 percent. It also helps to improve speed and performance by as much as 20 percent. By distracting the brain, music keeps you from focusing on the fatigue you feel, allowing you to run farther and work out longer.
Matching the beat of the activity to the music is one of the elements that enhance performance. Slow, soft music decreases physical strength when played during exercise. Study subjects performed with increased strength to upbeat music. Syncing beats per minute with an exercise pace increases your efficiency. In a recent study, subjects who cycled in time to music found that they required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work when compared to music playing in the background. To get pumped for a workout, the optimum range is 120 to 140 BPM, which matches the average heart rate while running. Most popular dance songs fall into this category. Slower, more relaxing music decreases one’s fitness potential capacity, which in turn will facilitate cool down activities and mind-body exercises like stretching, cool down and yoga.
All in all, there is conclusive evidence that listening to music enhances exercise performance, allowing for faster achievement of your exercise and fitness goals, improved adherence to exercise, relaxation and a general improvement in physical and mental well-being. So next time you’re about to hit the gym, bring along your iPod and enjoy the benefits of improved exercise performance. You may just save money on your term life insurance.