And you probably do it already! It turns out listening to music can up your workout performance – and that’s a fact.
For over ten years, Dr Costas Karageorghis of Brunel University in London and his team studied the effect of music on exercise.
They discovered that listening to tunes can improve the beneficial effects of exercise by up to 15 percent, reduce the perceptions of exertion by up to 12 percent, and extend voluntary endurance by up to 15 percent. In other words, you either don’t realise how hard you're working, or you keep pushing on anyway when you've got music in your ears.
No wonder then that Dr Karageorghis referred to exercise music as ‘a type of legal performance-enhancing drug’! While the research team didn't recommend any specific tunes, we're pretty sure thumping dance classics or anything with a brilliant beat will do the job. Keep the mellow instrumentals and the romantic ballads for the warm down.
It also seems that listening to music is particularly good if you’re into high intensity interval training (HIIT) – short full-on bursts of exercise that can be a whole world of pain. In a study published by the Journal of Sports Sciences, researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada found that music really helps.
The study showed that “attitudes towards sprint interval training (SIT) were significantly more positive” when music was involved. On a scale of 1 to 7, where 7 is 'I loved it', the most common ranking moved from a 5 to a 6 after the participants got to listen to music.
We’re off to set up a new Spotify workout play list right now!