Regular exercise has many positive effects on your heart health and overall well-being. From reduced stress to improved cholesterol and fat levels, studies continue to show that a little physical activity can go a long way. And it doesn’t take much!
The American Heart Association recommends individuals aim for at least 30 minutes of moderately-intense exercise on most days of the week. Whether it’s pick- up basketball, training for a local 5K or riding your bike to work, we’re all about exercise being fun. One way to make your favorite heart-pumping activity a little more enjoyable is by turning up the beat. In fact, listening to music not only helps make exercise more fun, but it can also improve your workout. Here’s why:
Music Improves Your Mood
We’ve all rolled out of bed or ended a long day at work and tried to talk ourselves out of going to the gym. Sometimes all we need is a little mood booster to get motivated. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found music can improve your mood and outlook on life. So create a killer playlist, lace up your sneakers and push play before you’re even out the door. It won’t take long before you’re enjoying a heart-healthy workout and a boost to your overall happiness.
Music Puts You in a Zone
From studying for a big exam to pushing out that last rep of squats, we all have go-to music for different situations. The right music can help you tune out distractions and get you in the right state of mind to push through your workout. Find songs that get you in your heart-pumping zone and let the music carry you away. Focus on the beat and you may run those three miles before even realizing you’re tired.
Studies show that runners and cyclists tend to step or pedal to the beat of music. Because of this, a good playlist with upbeat tunes can push you to work harder during your workout. “Music can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent,” says Costas Karageorghis, PH.D., from London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education. Maximize your next workout with songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm).
Keep your Pace
Next time you go for a bike ride or run, leave your watch at home and let your playlist be your pacer. Use tools like jog.fm or RockMyRun to set your pace based on the song’s beats per a minute. Get lost in the beat, take in the scenery and let the music be your guide.
These are just a few of the many benefits you’ll find when you mix heart-healthy cardio with your favorite tunes. Ronny Turiaf shared his favorite cardio songs above and now we need your help. Comment below with your favorite gym songs so we can build a 30-minute playlist and get moving!