Music accompanies us almost every day. We listen to it as a background on TV, while going to work. Together with the morning coffee it is able to awaken the brain from sleep much faster. Music also accompanies people during sports. Properly selected workout music can improve the efficiency of the training, or help to relax after it. Today you can often see a runner with earphones. And in the gym or fitness club it is difficult to imagine an intense workout without appropriate, dynamic music.
How exactly does workout music affect sportsmen? Is it possible to improve sports achievements using it? When should a sportsman turn off mp3 player?
To understand these issues, let’s start from the beginning. Let’s find out what happens in the body when we listen to music.
How the brain processes the music we hear
- The right hemisphere is primarily responsible for obtaining and recognizing musical properties. It recognizes melodies, harmonies, tempo, dynamics, rhythm and intervals. Therefore, when the auditory cortexesof the right hemisphere are damaged, musical abilities are lost.
- The left hemisphere is mainly involved in the active coding of music. Like when we play the guitar. Music with text also activates the linguistic centers of the left hemisphere.
Influence of different music on mood and physiology of a person
Dynamic rock music sometimes invigorates more than coffee, and calm relaxing music helps to relax after a crazy day.
Researchers at Stanford University in California studied people listening to music using MRI. During the study, there was significant brain stimulation in areas related to the feeling of pleasure, i.e. the reward system.
While listening to music, areas responsible for complex emotions or emotional control also become active. Music can also be useful in treating speech-related problems. You may have noticed that many people have trouble with stuttering after singing.
Listening to quiet music, on the other hand, has the opposite tendency.
Influence of workout music on athletes
What do all these matter in sports? Studies show that the appropriate workout music can have a significant impact on the results.
First, training with workout music contributes to a longer and more enjoyable training. Properly selected motivational songs can increase endurance by 15%!
Most often, sportsmen use workout music in 4/4 time signature. Because it is characterized by a strong rhythm.
From the studies of sports results can be figured out at least five areas in which workout music has a positive impact on the results.
Workout music, thanks to the constant tempo of the song, helps to keep the movements of the body in one rhythm. This is useful, first of all, in disciplines that require a long repetition of sequences of movements. For example, in long-distance running or rhythmic gymnastics.
Listening to workout music during training helps to distract from surrounding factors. For example, from people training in the gym) or from unnecessary sensations. Like fatigue, extraneous thought. Thanks to it the athlete concentrates on exercises and does not spend forces on extraneous things.
Increasing physical abilities
Improve aerobic endurance by up to 75 percent of maximum aerobic power for 30 minutes or more. Music effectively helps to reduce anxiety and tension in the body, and promotes the release of endorphins and well-being.
Loud and dynamic workout music affects the increase in adrenaline production. It is difficult to overestimate its high level in case of intensive strength exercises.
Also focusing on music makes it easier to deal with fatigue and pain, distracting from it.
Relaxing music helps to calm down before or after competitions.
With music it is easier to regulate mood and nervous system stimulation of an athlete. Loud dynamic music with a distinct rhythm (for example, rock, metal) acts as a stimulant and causes adrenaline in the blood. Slower music (with a tempo of up to 80 beats per minute) has a calming effect, reducing the level of excitement and heart rate, blood pressure.
This is a kind of legal doping measure. The human body is sensitive to the speed and rhythm of music. That is why fast music is used to increase heart rate and other reactions required to high physical activity.
The right music can have a beneficial effect on the athlete style of movement. For example, reducing muscle tension or improving coordination.
The rhythm of the music corresponds to the natural rhythm of the body, for example, the heartbeat. Therefore, mastering new skills seems more attractive when accompanied with the sportsman’s favorite sounds.
It is important to change the playlist sometimes, because listening to the same music again and again can cause irritation and have the opposite effect. Create a few playlists to your taste so you don’t get bored and create new ones from time to time.
When is it better not stop the playing workout music
Do not turn on the player when you are practicing new difficult exercises. They require a lot of attention, and music can unnecessarily distract you.
Some people do not like to listen to music while doing sports. They prefer to concentrate on body coordination. In this case, of course it is not necessary to force yourself to listen to workout music.
You need to be careful, because listening to music during sports can lead to injuries. For example, riding a bike near the road or using the gym equipment lwhile listening to music can be dangerous.
What kind of music to listen to during sports
At the beginning, it should be emphasized that the songs affect everyone in different ways. All people are different, and we have different musical preferences. Listening to the same composition, everyone can perceive it differently, especially at the level of associations.
If we are talking about the tempo of the music, the people here generally agree the fast pace promotes active participation, and slow music relaxes. But the type of used instruments, the genre of music, the lyrics or the voice of the artist in a particular composition can be evaluated differently by people.
The answer to the question what workout music to listen to during training significantly depends on the goals of the athlete.
For example, if the goal is to raise and maintain a heart rate of 120 beats per minute, you should choose workout music with a similar tempo.
To relieve tension and relax after a workout or competition sportsmen should use music with the rate of no more than 60-70 beats per minute. This frequency is close to the heart rate at rest.
How to know the tempo of a song? The easiest (but not the most accurate) way is to count the number of strokes (rhythm) for 10 seconds. Then the number must be multiplied by 6. The more accurate result can be get using appropriate programs that show the number of beats per minute. You can also use a regular metronome.
Music can have a significant impact on the health and activity level of a person. The right selected workout music can have a significant impact on improving the quality of a sports training and well-being after it. With workout music it is also easier to pass a boring and monotonous part of training.