Perhaps it comes from having the sort of parents who love facts, charts, numbers, research, and proven hypothesis with all variables covered, but I love it when things I think and feel instinctively about exercise wind up to actually have a scientific basis. (Or perhaps I just like the validation of being right about something once in a blue moon!)
I recently posted rather cavalierly regarding how I feel when there is rhythm and harmony flowing through my earbuds – to give you the dime tour version of the post, I noted that music “always sucks me out the door and into the great wide running world.” In other words, it motivates to get physical.
Well, apparently some Canadian scientists were already on the case in support of my ideas. According to Dr. Renee Murphy, “Our research leads us to believe that if people are listening to music while they exercise, they are not feeling the soreness, or the fatigue, or the heavy breathing or the pounding heart. All these things become secondary to the enjoyment of the music.” If you’re in tune with your music and having any sort of positive reaction to the songs, you are less likely want to stop working out, thus increasing your stamina and your ability to push through mental barriers.
When I first started running to music, I used to be a high-tempo, “Eye of the Tiger” kind of girl. Only fast beats would get me moving, or so I thought. Interestingly, research has also been done on what kind of music is best to listen to when you work out. And the answer? Any. Dr. Smith says, “And it doesn’t matter if it’s Kylie Minogue, country and western or Mozart. The key issue is that it has to be music that the exerciser loves.” That’s all it takes.
The Beatles might have thought all we needed was love. But as it turns out, all we really needed was The Beatles.