Sport with music can be more pleasant and beneficial for the body
There are many motivating ways to train harder, and doing sports with music is one of them. At the beginning of the new year, the gyms are at their busiest. Many people try to develop a workout routine to improve their health. Gaining an advantage through easier and more effective training could be the difference between success and culpable return to the warm hug of the couch. What if you could take advantage of listening to only one type of music?
Combine sport with music
A new study in “Frontiers in Psychology” shows for the first time that listening to music at a higher tempo reduces the perceived expenditure for movement and increases its usefulness. These effects were greater in endurance exercises such as walking than in high-intensity exercises such as weight lifting. The researchers hope that the results could help people improve their exercise habits.
Many people listen to music during exercise, and previous studies have documented some of the benefits. For example, music can distract from fatigue and discomfort and increase participation in exercises. How we experience sport with music is highly subjective. Cultural factors and personal preferences play a role in the effects on the individual. The melodies are varied and offer various aspects such as rhythm and lyrics that contribute to the experience.
So far, the researchers have not understood the specific properties of music that affect us during training. This includes the types of music that are best suited to improve certain types of exercise. Understanding these peculiarities could help to exploit the full potential of music as a practice amplifier. The scientists set out to investigate the effect of the tempo of a piece of music on female subjects performing either an endurance exercise (walking on a treadmill) or a high-intensity exercise (using a leg press).
The volunteers did the exercises in silence or while listening to pop music at different tempos. The researchers recorded a large number of parameters. Among them was the volunteers' opinion of the effort required to carry out the exercises. They also recorded their heart rate during exercise. A higher heart rhythm would mean that training would be more beneficial for physical fitness.
“We found that listening to high-speed music during exercise resulted in the highest heart rate and least perceived effort compared to not listening to music,” said Professor Luca P. Ardigò from the University of Verona in Italy. “This means that the exercise seemed less strenuous, but was more beneficial in terms of improving physical fitness.”
These effects were more noticeable in volunteers who did endurance training than in subjects who did intensive exercises, suggesting that people who do endurance training such as walking or running can get the most benefit from listening to high-speed music.
The researchers hope that these results provide an easy way to improve physical activity. While the current study included a small group of volunteers, larger studies will be needed in the future to examine the nuances of how music affects our training. So you can try playing fast pace the next time you work out in the gym. Otherwise, there may be a knock on your foot while sitting on the couch and eating chocolate.
“In the current study, we examined the effect of music pace during training, but in the future we would also like to examine the effects of other musical characteristics such as genre, melody or lyrics on endurance and training with high intensity,” he said Ardigò.
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