Los Angeles, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/03/2014 -- One of the big draws for group fitness classes is the opportunity to work out to music. Many classes are choreographed revolving around certain songs or types of music, and people often find that musical selection can enhance the benefits of their exercise program.
A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness detailed how music increases work output during activity, enhances metabolic efficiency, improves mood, encourages rhythmic movement and cognitive function, and can reduce the rate of perceived exertion. This last benefit can offer some reasons as to why many who exercise to music feel that more energized and less exhausted at the end of a low or high-intensity workout. This could be because music causes an influx of stimuli to the brain, distracting the mind from the “discomfort” often felt during exercise.
Although music is used in a variety of exercise classes, many are motivated to keep moving during high-intensity exercises due to this distraction from what the body is faced with. While music doesn’t change perceptions of fatigue or the output the body gives, it can make a person feel more positive about the sensations they are feeling and more likely to commit to finishing the workout.
Another piece of the puzzle the study found was that music actually reduced the metabolic demands on the body and promoted greater efficiency of metabolic processes. In the 2012 study, researchers observed that cyclists who pedaled in time to music required less oxygen than their counterparts who exercised in silence. According to study authors, it appears that music helps us to achieve a degree of efficiency in movements that actually requires less overall energy.
If group fitness classes to music are not of interest, many have achieved the same benefits by making a “playlist” on their iPod or other musical device and running, walking, or even lifting along to it. It distracts the mind, enhances the workout, and appeases our need for sensory input to keep us focused and on task. Try adding music to a workout and see what benefits it can offer the body.
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