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The Powerful Effect of Music on Performance

March 18 2013

The Powerful Effect of Music on Performance
By: Debra Meszaros
Body Performance Coach- Clubmx

Do you rely on music to motivate yourself during exercise?

Could music be doing more than improve your mental aspect of training?

The birth of the iPod may have more of an affect on your workout than previously thought. The latest research shows that listening to your favorite music before, during, and after exercise actually influences one’s performance.

As an athlete you already know that the power of the mind has an amazing influence on your level of performance. Whether you are an athlete or someone attempting to get the most out of your workout, music psychologically influences your biology. Yes, endurance, energy, and power can be increased with a musical aid!

How to use your favorite tunes:

When you listen to music your thoughts and feelings directly influence your body’s hormonal releases by activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; the communication that takes place between your brain and your adrenal glands. The results will vary depending on whether the music you are listening to is stimulating or relaxing to you. Stimulating music will engage a metabolic state where energy is more available to you during exercise. It can be lyrics, rhythms, or other musical associations that are the stimulant. After exercise, some data shows “inspirational” music may reduce lactic acid buildup and possibly increase growth hormone for quicker recovery.

Music can be diversionary, it can psychologically divert the mind from thinking about fatigue during low to moderate exercises; during high intensity exercise it can make exercising seem more pleasurable. In one recent study, those who cycled in synch with the music they were listening to required 7% less oxygen! Another interesting find is what occurs when you combine music and imagery. It seems one can enhance muscular endurance when applying that kind of combination.

In the world of competitive sports and fitness, any minor advantage can be helpful in helping you obtain your goals. You may want to carefully select the music you choose to listen to before, during, and after your need to perform. Matching the tempo of the music to the type of activity is important. Ideally you’d want to match your average heart rate with similar beats per minute in the music chosen. What you may choose to listen to during a warm-up, weight training, stretching etc. should vary to match your performance goals. Lastly, the volume of the music also provides an affect. Listening to your musical choice loud is best but not too loud to cause any type of discomfort. When the blood pressure in your ear canal is elevated during exercise, excess volume can cause temporary hearing loss. Be careful, but turn it up!

©2013 Debra Meszaros All rights reserved; no duplication without permission.
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