Music, motivation and fitness
How motivated are you when you exercise?
Staying motivated is hard work, it doesn't matter what kind of exercise you choose to do. Whether you decide to go to the gym or out on the pavement running, at some point your level of motivation will drop, this leads to a big drop in work rate, taking the results of what you've gained with it.
You need a boost. Something to make you feel good and inspire you to keep going.
Music is the obvious choice to keep you occupied when you're working out.
It gives you the feel good factor without you even realising it.
Essential motivation tool
Music is an essential motivation tool when training in the gym, walking, running, cycling or even swimming. With the technology we have today in devices such as mp3 players and even your mobile phone these products are smaller and durable for most environments. Eliminating the problem of music jumping while you move. This was a common problem with the "walkman" and cd players. Today with devices such as the new Sony "walkman" devices are durable and hard wearing and can even be used in water.
It wasn't until the 1990's that people really started to use music while they were exercising. This was thanks to technology improving and making it possible to carry music around with us.
What's your music of choice while you workout?
What it does while you're working out
- Distraction - Music can divert attention away from the physical sensation of mild pain and fatigue. There is an argument that this is usually seen mostly in lower intensity exercise, at higher intensities the body's internal fatigue cues are much stronger and have greater influence.
- Stimulation (hear music) - Choosing the right music can directly stimulate performance, showing significantly increased levels of endurance, speed and power output.
- Energy - Finding the right choice of music is very important, energetic music (over 130 beats per minute), can stimulate arousal in the trainer, elevating the mood (serotonin levels), heart rate, adrenal and norepinephrine (fat burning hormone) output. The increase in these factors leads not only to additional effect of training but also the sense of having a 'good session' and personal fulfillment from that session.
- Enhanced motor skills - More efficient motor function. The body's ability to carry out the specific exercise is increased and with additional efficiency comes a higher level of physical output.
- Distracts you from pain and fatigue - Something you probably don't notice that much while you're working out./
The choice of music is most important. Music needs to be highly energetic to work best and tailored to the taste of the listener. This abnormality is not fully understood yet, no one knows for sure exactly how music works to help exercise, it just does.
© 2010 Helen Bolam