When you’re working out, it is common practice to put in headphones, listen to music, and ignore everything else going on around you. We don’t think about it much now, but when did this start? Who said that listening to music could make exercising more fun?
Studies date back to 1911
when Leonard Ayres discovered that a group of cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing, rather than when they were not playing. Since then, more studies have been conducted as to whether or not this was true, and turns out it is! Music can distract people from the pain and fatigue they are experiencing when they workout, all while boosting a person’s mood, increasing endurance, reducing perceived effort, and promoting metabolic efficiency.
Music encourages people to keep exercising and acts as a distraction, despite any exhaustion they are feeling. This is due to the music competing with the brain for attention of these thoughts.
When studied, it was shown that the most important qualities in the music a person was listening to during exercise were the tempo (speed of the music) and the person’s response to the music, or how it makes them feel. The most popular types of music among college students when surveyed were Hip-hop, Rock and Pop music. These types of music have the desired tempos of 145 beats per minute or more, which is where motivation peaks.