Why do we like to listen to music while working out on cardio machines? Does it really do anything for us?
It sure seems that way. Common experience tells us that when we hear a rhythm, we want to move along with it. It could just be tapping your foot, but with a beat at the speed of our target gait on the treadmill, we love to run along to that beat.
It’s not just physical.
Studies have shown that listening to music during exercise actually makes it seem like you are working less hard than when you are not listening to music. It appears that if, without the music you would focus on things like how tired or sore you are, the music causes you to focus on the music instead. This shift in focus has been shown to increase endurance up to fifteen per cent. So it seems that the result your mind, body, and mind working together is to inspire and motivate you. Not only does the music keep you going, it actually inspires you to reach and exceed your fitness goals.
You may have noticed that the big commercial gyms don’t play slow, sad music! They play upbeat, faster tunes. That’s the best kind to keep you going. You may have also noticed many people wearing ear buds and listening to their own music. That may be the best solution, avoiding music you don’t like and concentrating on what motivates you the most.