Los Angeles, CA –
One ofthe big draws for group fitness classes is the opportunity to work out tomusic. Many classes are choreographedrevolving around certain songs or types of music, and people often find thatmusical selection can enhance the benefits of their exercise program.
A studypublished in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness detailed howmusic increases work output during activity, enhances metabolic efficiency,improves mood, encourages rhythmic movement and cognitive function, and canreduce the rate of perceived exertion. This last benefit can offer some reasons as to why many who exercise tomusic feel that more energized and less exhausted at the end of a low orhigh-intensity workout. This could bebecause music causes an influx of stimuli to the brain, distracting the mindfrom the “discomfort” often felt during exercise.
Althoughmusic is used in a variety of exercise classes, many are motivated to keepmoving during high-intensity exercises due to this distraction from what thebody is faced with. While music doesn’tchange perceptions of fatigue or the output the body gives, it can make aperson feel more positive about the sensations they are feeling and more likelyto commit to finishing the workout.
Anotherpiece of the puzzle the study found was that music actually reduced themetabolic demands on the body and promoted greater efficiency of metabolicprocesses. In the 2012 study,researchers observed that cyclists who pedaled in time to music required lessoxygen than their counterparts who exercised in silence. According to study authors, it appears thatmusic helps us to achieve a degree of efficiency in movements that actuallyrequires less overall energy.
If groupfitness classes to music are not of interest, many have achieved the samebenefits by making a “playlist” on their iPod or other musical device andrunning, walking, or even lifting along to it. It distracts the mind, enhances the workout, and appeases our need forsensory input to keep us focused and on task. Try adding music to a workout and see what benefits it can offer thebody.
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