We are all aware that a lot of our battle with exercise is mental. Our bodies are more than able, but often our minds are unwilling or need training to make us stronger faster or to improve our distance. The mind often tells us we can't do x, or that we need a break, but frequently when we question why we can't, the problem is psychological more than physical.
Music can be a massive factor in improving this psychological barrier. For example, if you are running long distance races, often boredom or fatigue can kick in part way through. Listening to music helps to combat these barriers, giving our mind something else to think about.
Research suggests that 75% of us find it beneficial to jog to music. Listening to music can affect the way the brain reacts. Music bans are even being introduced into some reasons, for the reason that it is believed that the right music can give competitors the edge over others. Music can help to distract from discomfort, it can help to drive you up a hill, or through that final mile.
Some athletes tend to focus purely on time, pace and energy levels, and sometimes these athletes can find music more of a negative distraction than a joy. Also, listening to the wrong type of music can negatively impact your workout too. If you are running or working out to music with a tempo that is faster than your pace, it can make you feel as though you are working out faster, and therefore tire you more quickly. However, for a shorter workout, these faster tempo songs can increase your speed, encouraging you to push that bit harder.
Matching your music to your workout can work wonders for the mind. Positive, driving lyrics, encouraging you to push it, faster, harder, stronger, are great at boosting motivation. Percussive and bass-driven music is great for weight training. Major key music is also preferred for workouts, they sound happier and therefore can make you feel happier about your workout.
Exercise to music classes can be great for new exercisers or for people looking at getting back into it. The music and class combination is a great motivator, and it can be a great way to meet like-minded people too.