No matter where you exercise – at home, the gym or even on a run, chances are you’re listening to music! But is this just a habit we have, or is there a link between listening to music and getting a better workout?
Can music motivate me to workout?
Listening to music whilst working out can give you a better workout as music is proven to be a mood booster so you’ll actually want to work out in the first place. The beat of the music can help you to stick to a certain rhythm which can be very satisfying as well as helping you to keep going when you start to feel tired.
Can listening to music make my workout better?
Studies have shown that music can improve your performance in two ways. It can delay how quickly you start to feel tired as you don’t realise how tired you are if you are listening to one of your favourite songs whilst you’re pumping those weights or taking part in one of our BodyBlast or targeted workout classes*. It can also increase the amount of time you workout for as well as the effort you put into it. If you are enjoying something, you will do it for longer, and if it’s a great song with a great beat, you will naturally move more vigorously in time with it. Upbeat songs will make you move faster and harder and your heart rate will increase. We tend to naturally move to the beat. Different tempos are needed to get the best out of your workout depending on what you are doing, so choosing the right music is important. Running on a treadmill, for example, would require music with a different beat to performing bicep curls as the pace is different. However, it’s most important to pick music that you love and that makes you feel good!
How does music affect me mentally?
There is a definite connection between music and mood. Research suggests that playing music in the background whilst completing another activity (ie exercise) can improve performance and memory, as well as, upbeat music leading to improvements in processing speed. Research has also shown that music can be helpful in the management of pain – so if you’re looking to get through those last few tough reps, stick on your music!
Of course, music can affect you in many ways depending on what you are listening to. It can make you feel sad, angry, happy or in love to name a few. It can transport you back in time to a certain place or remind you of a certain event. Aim to listen to upbeat, happy music while working out to improve your performance and overall workout results.
Music has been proven to help boost your mood, reduce stress, make you feel more positive, increase energy, and help you to sleep better.
Which music should I be listening to?
As we said earlier, it will depend on what sort of exercise you are doing but if you are completing resistance or bodyweight exercise, you want to be looking at a range of music with a good beat, something that makes you feel energetic, awake and maybe even ready for a boogie in between exercises!
A few good selections include:
Michael Jackson – Shake Your Body
Single Ladies – Beyonce
Push It – Salt-N-Pepa
Aretha Franklin – Respect
Bee Gees – Stayin Alive
Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Heather Small – Proud
Diana Ross – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now
Survivor – Eye of the Tiger
The Pointer Sisters – I’m So Excited
Steve Winwood – Higher Love
Click here to listen to our Spotify music playlist full of happy summer songs perfect to work out to.
What is the best way to listen to music whilst exercising?
If you’re exercising at home, just play your favourite music and if you come to W Fitness we’ve already chosen a great combination of old and new songs with a great beat to keep your motivation up! We like to play what you want to listen to and love it when members give us ideas for a new playlist or ask for specific songs!
What about listening to music if I like running or swimming?
If you like running, try Bluetooth headphones (remember to put sweat covers on as sweat is corrosive), Bluetooth earbuds or if you use a wire to connect your earbuds, run the wire through your sleeve to stop it flapping about.
If you’re a swimmer, try a waterproof ipod shuffle with waterproof in-ear headphones.
There are so many options now to enable us to listen to our music no matter what activity we’re doing!
So, can music really help my motivation? Yes! Music can definitely help to motivate you when exercising as well as improving your workout. Look for that fitness inspiration and pick the right workout songs. Remember, you need happy upbeat songs that you love to listen to.
*Our Facebook Support Group, is where we run live workout classes every day (including Zumba, Yoga, HIIT classes and more!) and have provided alternative exercises to our unique 30-minute gym circuit that can easily be done at home, as well as providing support, motivation and a friendly face! To get all of this, simply request to join our Facebook Group and we will send you the link for payment. We are only charging £35 for a full months access (rather than charging per class, as this would add up to over £100 and we want everyone to be able to access these whilst we’re all in need!)
Caroline & Hannah xx