Looking to take your workout to the next level? Well, then, it's time to think about what music you've been listening to. Music and the headphones we listen to it on have become as much a part of a gym kit as sneakers.
Music can inspire, help your body move naturally, and boost your mood.
A 2019 study has shown that people who listened to music during their workouts reported higher enjoyment and reached a higher level than those who did not. Listening to music overall helped shape a more joyous exercise experience.
So, choosing the right music is essential to your workout. Here's how to leverage the power of music to improve your workouts.
Choosing upbeat and energizing playlists
Where exercise is concerned, upbeat and energizing playlists are essential. The music's tempo should match your workout's intensity to enable you to achieve your peak performance. So, creating that perfect playlist can make all the difference in your motivation and enjoyment.
Choosing up-tempo, fast-paced songs activates your body and gets you naturally moving to the beat. The music's rhythm and beat synchronize your movements, improving coordination and timing. Songs with energetic vocals and driving rhythms help psych you up.
Research has shown that upbeat songs evoke happiness and confidence because the sound can trigger dopamine release.
Things to also consider are the genre, lyrics, and overall energy of your chosen songs. Although there are certain workout scenarios that benefit from slower-tempo music, like yoga and post-workout stretching, it's best to avoid sad, slower-tempo songs that can sap your energy.
Matching music tempo to workout intensity
First up, tempo. The tempo of your workout music is essential as it directly impacts your pace, intensity, and endurance. Syncing your music tempo to your chosen exercises will maximize your pacing and stamina.
However, the ideal tempo for the best results depends on the type of exercise you are doing.
Aim for music around 100-120 BPM for lower-intensity cardio, such as walking. This tempo is excellent for keeping you moving briskly and steadily. In running and cycling, the ideal is a tempo of 120 to 140 BPM. This will provide enough of an upbeat drive to help maintain a higher rhythm.
If you are into HIIT, such as indoor cycling or CrossFit, a tempo of 150-180 can help you maintain a higher pace. The beat of these quicker songs will help drive you through those tough times.
Let's not forget slower-paced workouts such as yoga, where music can play a crucial role in relaxation — for those types, you should aim for 60 to 90 BPM.
Creating personalized workout soundtracks
Nothing is worse than listening to a song you don't like. If a song can bring you down regardless of tempo, creating a personalized soundtrack that helps keep you in the zone is worth exploring. Music can be a very personal experience. So, consider the songs that motivate you, and try mixing up-tempo songs from different decades and genres.
You can also create playlists that match different exercises, such as explosive beats for power moves like squats or lunges. Or, try songs with a gradually building tempo for running and biking. You can even use an eight-beat intro song to match doing eight reps of a particular exercise.
And don't forget to mix up your playlist to reflect your rest time — a well-timed playlist can help you remember when it's time to cool down. While this kind of playlist may take more time to put together, you only need to do it once, and it will push your workout to another level.
Using music as a distraction from fatigue
Are you feeling the burn? Music can help with that, too. One of the lesser-known benefits of music is its ability to distract from fatigue. Changing your thought process, music can give you a feeling of pleasure, making the workout more enjoyable.
Long-endurance workouts benefit from musical and even vocal distraction. Try listening to podcasts or audiobooks during long runs or rides that will help the time pass quicker.
The key is to choose songs that capture your attention entirely. By immersing yourself in the beat of the music, you can help block out fatigue.
Incorporating dance or rhythm-based workouts
If you want to add a little spice to your exercise, music, dance, and rhythm-based workouts could be the right fit. These types of workouts offer unique benefits. The rhythmic nature of music and dance improves coordination and timing, helping you maintain and improve fitness and your dance floor skills.
The structure of these choreographed classes, such as Zumba or hip hop, with their rhythmic beats and catchy tunes, aims to push you harder while you have fun learning new dance routines and steps. To top it off, you can burn some serious calories. Just one hour of Zumba can burn off up to 700 calories.
And the beat goes on
So, it's time to let music be your exercise energizer. Now, you can customize your playlists to maximize your workout. So pump up that volume and immerse yourself in the power of music — elevate your workout experience and push yourself to the max.
Ready to take your health, fitness, and well-being to new heights? Check out the ActiveFit+ health and wellness blog to unlock your full potential.