How Music Can Boost a High-Intensity Workout – Dance and Drum Connection

This study shows how music affects exercise which, in indigenous cultures, vigorous dancing with indigenous rhythms should provide an immediate physical health benefit in addition to mood elevation. Indigenous dancing should also be more self-regulating in the presence of many dancers from the large general audience that is usually participating.

“The volunteers all reported that the intervals had been hard. In fact, their feelings about the difficulty were almost identical, whether they had been listening to music or not.

What is interesting is that their power output had been substantially greater when they were listening to music. They were pedaling much more ferociously than without music. But they did not find that effort to be more unpleasant. Without music, the workout struck them as about the equivalent of an eight or higher on a zero to 10 scale of disagreeableness (with 10 being unbearable).

With music, each interval still felt like about an eight or higher to the riders, but they were working much harder during each 30-second spurt. The intensity increased but not the discomfort. Polled by the scientists at the end of the experiment, all 20 riders said that if they were to take up interval training on their own after the study, they definitely would listen to music to get themselves through the workout.

How music affects performance and perceptions during intense exercise remains unclear, Mr. Stork said, but it likely involves “arousal responses.” The body responds to the rhythm of the music with a physiological revving that prepares it for the demands of the intervals.

People may also turn to music in hopes of ignoring their body’s insistent messages of discomfort. Music cannot, of course, override those messages altogether, Mr. Stork pointed out. But it may mute them and make you more eager to strain through another session of intervals, sweat and playlist streaming.”

Read more at Source: How Music Can Boost a High-Intensity Workout – The New York Times


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