Exercise and music go hand in hand. Doing a workout is always so much easier when you’re listening to your favorite songs, and that’s not a coincidence. Science has found ways in which music benefits working out, meaning you always have an excuse to plug in at the gym and ignore the world around you.
Music saves you from fatigue
Finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult when working a full-time job. We may tell ourselves that we’re going to hit the gym after work, but once the end of the day comes around, that enthusiasm is a thing of the past. No-one can blame you for wanting to go home and rest, but those missed opportunities will only continue to build up into regret.
The solution? Just listen to some music. All you need to do is get yourself through the gym doors and music will do the rest. It’s crazy how our bodies work, but just listening to our favorite songs while we’re building up a sweat can actually lower those overwhelming feelings of fatigue. While it may not be a miracle cure for tiredness, it will at least get you through your workout.
It numbs the pain (for a little while)
If you’ve been going to the gym for a while and fallen into a routine, it becomes more difficult to see any progress happening with your body. The reason why is because you’re not testing your limits as much as when you first started exercising – you need to kick it up a notch.
Although this may seem daunting, music is there to help. When pushing yourself to run faster or try lifting a heavier weight, it acts as a distraction from some of the strain and thereby reduces your perception of pain. At that moment, you’ll feel as though you can keep going harder and harder – don’t. Music won’t be there to soothe the ache in your muscles when you wake up the next day.
Music has magical motivational properties
Okay, maybe not magical, but it’s pretty clear that music has a great ability to motivate us, even during the most tiresome of workouts. When an upbeat song starts playing, it’s difficult not to get swept up by the rhythm of it. Your body will respond to it as a result of “mental arousal” and this psychs you up to put more effort into your workout. There’s no feeling greater than breaking through that wall of fatigue because a song gave you the motivation to power on.
It even builds up your self-confidence
Exercise classes are daunting things. Who wants to show off what they can’t do in front of a group of strangers? The fear of public humiliation is a great one, and it can stop us from trying out a lot of things. Thanks to music, though, this anxiety can be dealt with.
Research has found that music has a positive influence on motor skills, meaning that it can improve the way we move our bodies. Classes like Zumba are therefore super effective at building up confidence, because they’re based around moving to the beat of the music. In no time at all, your motor skills will be so much better, and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable working out, just because of a few dance classes.
I expect it now makes a lot more sense why forgetting your headphones or breaking them while working out feels like the end of the world. It turns out that music is the exercise companion we never realized we needed.