Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Music for Motivation

Everyone has those days. It's filled with stress and things just dont’t seem to go your way. On those days it just seems more appealing to stay in your pajamas rather than working out. So why not use music as a motivational tool to get your body moving.
The idea that music motivates you during exercise is not new, but what is interesting is that recent studies have indicated that music can greatly increase your workout output. The greatest responses to music comes from aerobic or endurance training, for example, cycling or running. Participants were shown to workout significantly longer when exposed to motivational music than with neutral music or none at all. In these studies, it was found that most men and women responded with:
  • a brighter mood/outlook
  • increased motivation
  • reduced feelings of pain or fatigue
  • perceived level of difficulty within the workout changed 
A lot of people feel that exercise is boring, difficult or unpleasant and that’s why a great playlist can make a world of difference in your workout. Motivation can become increasingly important if you want to maintain it over an extended period of time. Obviously interest and enjoyment of the activity play a role, but when you have music that is attention grabbing and encourages you to move to the beat, things get quite a bit more fun!

Music is a major influence on society, so it is no surprise that music gets incorporated within fitness classes and every day workouts. When you have a large majority of people able to access music on their phones or mp3 players it allows for increased convenience and complete customization of individual playlists. While selecting a playlist, there are many great applications you can use to maximize your workout. Here’s a few to check out:
  • isweat2thebeat.com - has a huge selection with over 70,000 songs to choose from and are all organized by bpm (beats per minute) and genre 
  • On iTunes you can download the jog.fm app that plays music from your iTunes library and matches your running pace 
  • Motion Traxx Radio: Workout Music for Running and Exercise is also available through iTunes. The non-stop workout mixes are designed for running, cardio, cycling, power walking and interval training. 
To sum it up, that favourite playlist of yours can help you focus, relax, and create positive feelings when you are feeling less than excited about stepping out your door, so pick up that music, get outside and move!

References from the SIRC Collection:
  1. Brooks, K., & Brooks, K. (2010). Enhancing Sports Performance Through The Use Of Music. Journal Of Exercise Physiology Online, 13(2), 52-57. 
  2. Elliott, D. D., Carr, S. S., & Savage, D. D. (2004). Effects of motivational music on work output and affective responses during sub-maximal cycling of a standardized perceived intensity. Journal Of Sport Behavior, 27(2), 134-147. 
  3. van der Vlist, B., Bartneck, C., & Mäueler, S. (2011). moBeat: Using Interactive Music to Guide and Motivate Users During Aerobic Exercising. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 36(2), 135-145. 
  4. Workout Intensity: What's in a Playlist?. (2010). Running & FitNews, 28(5), 4-6.

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