Have High Hopes For Your Fitness Goals? Listen to High-Tempo Music!
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is one of my heros. In addition to all of her career accomplishments, the 86-year-old is a cancer survivor and very dedicated to working out.
(You can read all about her workout routine here).
Apparently, Ginsburg likes to listen to opera music when she works out. That’s an interesting choice. Opera is soothing and relaxing. It doesn’t make me want to get up and move! But I applaud Ginsburg for her commitment to fitness, and she is entitled to listen to whatever music she wants. But a recent study found evidence suggesting that listening to high-tempo music while working out may not only make exercise easier but also more beneficial.
“These effects were greater for endurance exercises, such as walking, than for high-intensity exercises, such as weightlifting. The researchers hope that the findings could help people to increase and improve their exercise habits,” according to one report discussing the study.
To put it simply, tempo is the speed of music. Sure, there are opera and classical music pieces that are high-tempo. But more often than not, these types of music are low-tempo. That’s why many people may use these genres to relax, study or sleep. Pop music, for example, is often high-tempo.
“Until now, researchers did not understand the specific properties of music that affect us during exercise, including which types of music are best suited to enhancing certain types of exercise. Understanding these specifics could help to unlock the full potential of music as an exercise enhancer,” according to the study report.
This is very interesting and important, because so many Americans struggle with falling into exercise ruts. We may not feel motivated and just not exercise at all, especially during the winter months. So creating your workout playlist may be more important than you think. It could be the tool that helps you reach your full fitness potential.
Researchers of the study studied the effects of music and tempo on a group of female volunteers who did either an endurance (aerobic) exercise (in this case walking on a treadmill) or high-intensity exercise (using a leg press machine).
The participants completed these exercises in silence or listened to pop music with various tempos. The researchers then took note of participant opinion about how hard it was to complete the exercise and heart rate while exercising. A higher heart rate is an indicator that an exercise is more beneficial.
“Determining an optimal heart rate for exercise depends on your exercise goal, age, and current fitness level.”
So it all really depends on who you are and what your fitness goals are, but the higher your heart rate the more intense the exercise.
The results of the study revealed that listening to high-tempo music was associated with the highest heart rate and the perception that the exercise was not that difficult (compared to those who worked out in silence).
As mentioned, this was seen more in endurance (aerobic) exercises compared to an exercise such as weightlifting. So if you are a walker, runner or cyclist, you may want to listen to some high-tempo music while you are partaking in these activities.
More research is needed, however, “The researchers hope that these results will provide a simple way to improve levels of physical activity,” according to the report.
In the future, researchers would like to explore how melody, song lyrics and various genres of music have an effect on both cardio and resistance training.
How else can we improve our levels of physical activity?
- Fuel your body properly.
Know the nutrients needed to fuel your workouts and help with recovery after exercising. Read here to learn more about this.
- Take routine nutrient tests.
To ensure that you are nutritionally balanced and that you can perform your best during workouts, it is imperative to get a comprehensive nutrient test. Eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods helps, but it does not guarantee that your body is absorbing adequate nutrients from the foods you eat to remain healthy and help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Know the specific nutrient deficiencies that can possibly prevent weight loss.
Now turn up the music and get moving! Perhaps it might be a good time to visit a CycleBar studio?
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.