The thought of going for a run is, for some, an unpleasant, if not soul-destroying, thought. Others may only just be able to handle it, while others again relish the thought of some good hard exercise. So how do we push ourselves to get that little bit more out of exercising? From those who are ‘once in a blue moon’ exercisers to those who are dedicated to a sport or training regime, music has been proven to boost training and performance results, helping us to go that little bit further, sometimes without even realising it.
Studies have been done on the effect of music on training and exercise which reveal that those who listen to music manage to run that little bit further, cycle that little bit faster, and feel so much better about it at the end.
Not only does music increase performance during training, but there have been many reports from athletes and researchers who say that listening to music before competing determines their mood for that event and can ultimately determine the results of the event for them.
So how does it work? Our brains process music on two levels: emotional and motor. Listening to our favourite upbeat songs that get us focused and determined helps rid our minds of negative thoughts of ‘what if I lose?’ Further than this, our inner ear connects to our cerebellum through a nerve. The cerebellum is that part of the brain that deals with balance and motor functions. Bringing this all together, motivating music coming into our ears will send positive messages to the cerebellum, thus improving our physical (motor) performance.
So why not give it a shot? Listening to your favourite music can help you visualise your goals better and enable you to push yourself that extra bit. Not only will this help you keep fit but it will also help your overall mood as the music increases your performance levels which in turn boosts your self-esteem, helping you feel more confident and happier.