Music: increase tempo to increase exertion

This video probably would have been more appropriate for yesterday’s blog because although I suggested dance as something beneficial and fun, I don’t necessarily agree with aerobic or zumba classes where they do a bunch of wiggling. I do think it is a good example of music can influence workout (and my daughters do say my jumping around between sets reminds them of this and they want to play the song). Monday we covered the benefits of music so today we’ll link those benefits with exercise. Of course research has found that music can have a major impact on exertion (well you don’t need a doctor to tell you that). They say it seems that we are ‘hard-wired’ to respond to musical beat (which I agree, you know when you here a song and your head starts to bob or you find your foot tapping along, I find myself a victim of using the steering wheel as a drum or making an ass of myself with a killer air guitar solo).

Simple math: increased tempo=increased exertion OR decreased tempo=decreased exertion

While the body may simply respond to beat on a subconscious level, the type and tempo you choose while working out may also influence your conscious motivation. Loud upbeat music generally stimulates an energizing effect (songs with beats 120-140 beats per minute seem to work the best), whereas slow has a sedative and calming effect. Also an article in the New York Times said that it can reduce perception of how hard one is working by 10%, so it increases vigor and excitement, while decreasing fatigue and depression. One last bit that I found fascinating was that listening to music while exercising has been shown to improve verbal fluency: Heart Lung found that listening to music while exercising boosted cognitive levels and verbal fluency skills in people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (in some case more than doubling!) So the next time you exercise crack up the music and the tempo to increase exertion for a harder routine!

This entry was posted in Body/Spiritual, Exercise, Stress, Weight Loss, Workout and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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