The Benefits Of Moving To Your Favorite Music During A Workout

Krystle VermesDec. 17, 2022 10:00 pm EST1,445

If you want all of the benefits of working out without actually exercising, you might find it challenging to stick to any type of regimen. We've all yo-yo dieted and tried the latest workout fads only to find ourselves falling off the bandwagon as soon as the going gets tough.

According to a 2019 survey conducted by OnePoll, 56% of Americans claim that being "too tired" is the primary reason why they fail to exercise regularly (via the New York Post). About 42% of respondents cited a lack of time, but what were the excuses after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? A 2021 survey conducted by Orangetheory Fitness found that 43% of Americans simply lack the motivation to work out, and 41% started suffering from the monotony of exercising at home.

That being said, is there anything that can be done to combat all of the reasons we procrastinate on working out on a regular basis? As it turns out, the solution may actually be our favorite playlist. There is growing research that suggests music can be motivating, as well as mood-boosting. Tunes that are synchronized to exercise can even increase your stamina, according to the National Center for Health Research. However, those aren't the only benefits of turning to your favorite musical artists for what you need to push through a tough workout. Here are some of the real benefits of moving to music during exercise.

Music can help you push through high-intensity exercise

One of the most challenging parts of exercising is actually getting going. You likely already know how easy it is to slip into your favorite athleisure, but once it comes time to move, it's too easy to stay planted on the couch. This is where music can come into play. Music might be just what you need to start exercising — literally. For example, if you want to go out for a run but it feels insurmountable, the right beats could help you take the first step outside.

A 2004 study published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise looked at how music impacted runners during periods of high physical exertion. Specifically, researchers wanted to see how it played a role in the runners' use of dissociation and motivation as self-regulation techniques. Although music did not appear to influence heart rate or the runners' perceptions of exertion, 30% claimed that it motivated them at the beginning of the run. They noted that it also held their attention and pushed them to work through the remainder of the exercise.

Music might not necessarily boost your stamina during an especially long workout. However, the researchers concluded there could be very real benefits associated with listening to it during high-intensity exercise. They added that listening to your favorite genres might heighten the potential advantages of using this tactic. If you need a reason to create a new workout playlist, this is it.

Music might help you put more energy into your workout

If you've ever joined a workout class, you know how intense exercise can become in a group setting. However, you might also recall that music is a common theme across all of these classes, and for good reason. Research suggests music can be especially helpful if you want to put more effort into your workouts without feeling the intense burn. A 2015 study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise examined how music could potentially maintain factors, such as motivation and enjoyment, during exercise. The researchers were ultimately able to determine that music can enhance your performance and satisfaction while going all out during your sweat session.

There is additional research that suggests your favorite tunes might be particularly helpful during repetitive workouts or endurance exercises. However, experts haven't been able to nail down exactly why this is the case. Some speculate that beats might help people maintain their pace while working out, while others think that it encourages people to take their minds off of the exercise itself. Regardless, it might be an option worth trying if you struggle during the toughest parts of your workouts — or just want a little boost to push through a long exercise. It can also help you crush any anxiety you might feel about whether you can tackle a new or challenging workout.

Music may help you dull the pain of working out

Many of us think about hitting the treadmill or picking up a dumbbell but stop as soon as we remember the aches and pains that may develop. It's no secret that working out can result in soreness after the fact. For some, experiencing the benefits of exercising isn't enough to help them push through the pain and stick to a routine. However, some research suggests that listening to music you personally enjoy may be exactly what you need to overcome this hurdle.

A 2006 study published in the European Journal of Pain looked at how music could potentially impact pain perception. Researchers compared it to the use of cognitive distractions, such as arithmetic, and humor as forms of distraction from pain. In the end, they concluded that listening to preferred music could not only distract from but also enhance the control of pain. Based on this research, a 2021 report published in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology indicated that music may be beneficial for overcoming discomfort experienced during exercise.

Of course, there are steps you can take to lessen the soreness you feel post-workout. Stretching and warming up beforehand is essential, as well as stretching and cooling down after you exercise. Doing so can not only prevent achiness the next day but also help you avoid injury. In the event that you feel pain while exercising, stop immediately — pushing through your body's signal to stop can also result in injury.

Music with a good beat may help you get moving

If your lack of motivation to physically move is keeping you from working out, queue up your playlist — specifically one with some good beats. A 2013 report published in the journal Brain and Cognition looked at how musical quality, in particular, could potentially encourage people to move. The results suggested that high-groove music created excitability within certain muscles in the body, where as low-groove music resulted in no noticeable difference. This means that those bumping beats you love could be just what you need to encourage your body to move — quite literally.

Just remember, warming up beforehand is a critical part of the exercise process to avoid injury. The Mayo Clinic recommends focusing on large muscle groups while stretching during a warmup. Then, you can move on to stretching and warming up muscles that will be used during your exercise of choice. A warmup might result in a bit of sweating, but the idea is to loosen up your muscles — you shouldn't feel entirely fatigued afterward, but rather prepared to get moving.

Music can boost your resistance exercise performance

If you prefer to hit the weights, don't forget to bring your earbuds. Some research has indicated that during resistance exercise, listening to your favorite songs might help you stay motivated and even complete a few more reps.

A 2021 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examined how listening to preferred music could impact resistance exercise performance. During the study, 12 male participants were split into two groups. During bench press exercises, one group listened to preferred music, while the other listened to non-preferred music. Based on the results, the researchers concluded that listening to preferred music can boost motivation and overall performance during resistance exercise.

Whether you've given up on working out due to your packed schedule or lackluster results, music might be exactly what you need to get back on track. The benefits of exercising regularly have been proven. Not only can you maintain a healthy weight, but you can also reduce your risk of conditions ranging from heart disease to high cholesterol, per MedlinePlus. Routine physical activity might even be a necessity for you if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes. Now is the time to lace up your running shoes, grab your earbuds, and get ready to turn up the volume.