Exercise & Music can rearrange the brain’s electrical frequency, boosting your enjoyment & can be a game-changer during work outs.
Feel an extra pep in your step when your favourite tune comes on? There’s a reason for that: Music influences you to run farther, bike longer and swim faster – often without you even realizing it. Indeed, “Music is like a legal drug for athletes,” Costas Karageorghis of London’s Brunel University School of Sport and Education said in an article posted on her fitness blog. “It can reduce the perception of effort significantly and increase endurance by as much as 15 percent.”
Scientists from Brunel University in the UK have used portable electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring with interference shielding technology to measure three types of brainwaves during exercise. This lets them compare the brain’s electrical feedback while exercising outdoors to music, a podcast, or no soundtrack at all.
They found music rearranges the brain’s electrical frequency, causing a drop in focus but enhancing enjoyment 28 per cent more than silence and 13 per cent more than a podcast. “The EEG technology facilitated measurement during an ecologically-valid outdoor task, so we could finally explore the brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of music during real-life exercise situations,” said Marcelo Bigliassi, Psychophysiologist at Brunel.
In 2012, a study likened music to a legal, performance-enhancing drug, cheating tiredness and sparking feel-good vibes. Music naturally boosts dopamine, the neurotransmitter that drives your brain’s reward system. Listening to music during a workout can give you a hit of dopamine – resulting in feelings of well-being. At the same time, exercise boosts serotonin (a mood-boosting neurotransmitter) so the combination will do wonders for your happy hormones.However the precise brain mechanisms music triggers during exercise are less understood.
The study says the brain mechanisms behind these effects appear to be linked to a boost in beta frequencies in the frontal and frontal-central regions of the cortex. “We showed that music has the potential to increase beta waves and elicit a more positive emotional state,” said Bigliassi. “This can be capitalised upon during other forms of exercise and render a given activity more pleasurable. People who struggle to engage in physical activity programs should select appropriate pieces of exercise & music,” he said.
While music isn’t a substitute for medication to manage chronic pain, it may distract you from normal aches or pains during exercise. Therefore, you’re more likely to push through and complete your workout resulting in the best shape possible.