Tune Your Playlist; Grow Your Brain

Tune Your Playlist; Grow Your Brain

Playing Upbeat Music Improves Workouts

Two new studies show that you may want to play music while working out. The first study is from the UK and Australia.  Researchers led by Peter Terry, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of South Queensland in Australia, who  also a rugby player and marathoner, and Costas Karageorghis, PhD, Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at Brunel University in London, another runner, completed a research project on the effect of playing music while working out.

That study compared intensive sprint workouts under three scenarios: listening to music, listening to podcasts, and quiet. Participants found that working out with music was more enjoyable, the workouts seemed a little easier and that they recovered somewhat faster. Link here.

From that study:  

“Music has the capacity to enhance enjoyment, improve physical performance, reduce perceived exertion and benefit physiological efficiency across a range of physical activities, albeit the magnitude of the effects tends to be small.”

Two notes: this sample was comprised of young adults, and the sample size was small.

The second study is from the UK and Canada, again featuring Karageorghis: Dr. Karageorghis is known for his sports psychology work. In this recent study, he and a team from the University of British Columbia that included Matthew J. Stork. PhD, a specialist in the effect of high-intensity training and Kathleen Martin Ginis, PhD, whose research focuses on spinal injury recovery, found four benefits associated with listening to music while working out:

  1. Since the athletes chose their own playlists, they chose upbeat music that improved their moods.
  2. Body movements tended to synchronize with the rapid beat, resulting in more active workouts.
  3. The music changed their perception of exercise difficulty.
  4. The athletes used oxygen more efficiently.

Link to that study here.

What does this have to do with your brain? Our mantra: Good for Your Heart; Good for Your Brain.

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