Two of my favorite things in life are working out and music. So why not combine them and get the best of both worlds! In all seriousness, listening to music while working out can increase your ability to train and in that way, help to boost results. If you take a second to think about it, it isn’t really hard to see how music can help you increase the intensity of your workouts.
Throughout history, music has been used to illustrate and illicit emotions and to create moods. Choosing music that creates the mood for the type of training that you’ll be engaging in is important. For heavy weight lifting or sprinting workouts, it makes sense to choose a powerful, face-paced type of music. For yoga or meditation, go with light and expressive instrumental type music. They even make waterproof MP3 players these days, so you can listen to music while swimming! http://www.amazon.com/Underwater-Audio-Waterproof-Swimbuds-Bundle/dp/B00CELMZG0 Pretty cool indeed!
Music can help us to block out the distractions that often times cause us to lose focus during our training sessions. Whether it’s the pain associated with exercise, or it’s the chatter from others in the gym, distractions are ever-present in our environment. Music can help us to eliminate these and help us to be able to really focus in on the workout.
The only consideration that I suggest you keep in mind is to never listen to music while exercising near traffic or in an environment that you need to be aware of and hear your surroundings (such as road biking). Most races do not allow competitors to use headphones during events for this very reason.
So go out and buy some upbeat tunes to crank through the ear buds during your next workout. Use this as a motivator to get in your workouts. If you make it through a couple weeks of training, reward yourself by purchasing a new playlist’s worth of music to listen to for the next couple of weeks. Have fun coming up with different playlists for different types of workouts. I have a different playlist for my runs and my weight training workouts, and the music really helps me on days that I am dragging and lacking the motivation to step foot in the gym. Like the Doobie Brother’s sang “music is the doctor, makes you feel like you want to.”
In Wellness and Love,
Dr. Christopher Weaver DC, PAK is a Doctor of Chiropractic and Professional Applied Kinesiologist. He's published two books on health and Wellness.