According to new research, listening to fast music when exercising keeps the heart rate up and the fatigue to a minimum.
High tempo music could do wonders for our workouts, according to a new study.
For many of us, music has remarkable properties. It can leave us wistful one moment and then charge us with energy the next.
Many people find that music also makes exercise more enjoyable, and now a study has revealed that music with higher tempos can deliver two distinct benefits.
The motivation for the new study
Music is the universal language, as the adage goes.
While experiential and cultural factors affect our musical preferences, certain basic musical attributes appear to elicit similar responses in people everywhere.
The most essential of these are rhythm, tempo, melody, and harmony, with the effects of lyrics and genre not being universal.
Studying music tempo and exercise
The researchers recruited 19 volunteer female participants ranging in age from 24 to 31 years.
All of them regularly engaged in physical activity between three and five times a week, and a significant percentage worked in physical fitness.
Each individual had undergone at least 1 year of fitness training.
The researchers divided the exercise tasks into two types: endurance exercise, such as treadmill work, and high intensity training, such as weightlifting.
To establish a baseline for each participant, the researchers calculated mass and body mass index (BMI). They also noted the participants’ degree of training experience (endurance, high intensity training, or both) and their maximal heart rate.
Three of these conditions used pop music, while the fourth included no music.
The researchers randomly shuffled the order of the music conditions to achieve a balanced representation.
The study’s findings
The beneficial effect of higher tempo music was most pronounced when the participants were engaging in endurance exercise.
As author Luca P. Ardigò of the University of Verona in Italy says, “We found that listening to high tempo music while exercising resulted in the highest heart rate and lowest perceived exertion compared with not listening to music.”
The implication of the study’s results is that for runners, walkers, and cyclists, music at high tempos can make exercise both easier and more effective.
The authors cite clues from previous research that may explain why music has this effect.