The Psychology of Powerful Exercise Music

The Psychology of Powerful Exercise Music

Allow yourself to dance to the music.

Since at least 1911, when American researcher Leonard Ayres discovered that cyclists pedaled more quickly while a band was playing than when it wasn’t, there has been researching on the relationship between music and exercise. Since then, psychologists have done almost 100 pieces of research on how piece affects how well people perform various physical tasks, from strolling to running. A few different results stand out when examining the study as a whole.

essential characteristics of exercise

Tempo, sometimes known as speed, and what psychologists call rhythm response, or roughly how much a song makes you want to dance, are two of the most crucial elements of workout music. Even though they frequently suppress it, most people are inclined to coordinate their body language and facial emotions with the theme—to nod, tap, or dance. Different cultures and individuals respond differently to varying types of music. In general, rapid songs with strong beats are inspiring, which is why they make up the majority of people’s workout playlists. For instance, hip-hop, rock, and pop were the three most preferred genres of exercise music in a recent study of 184 college students (20.3 percent).

According to some scientists, people naturally favor rhythms that are two hertz in frequency, or 120 beats per minute (bpm) or two beats per second. Many subconsciously adopt a cadence of 120 bpm when instructed to walk or tap their fingers. According to research on more than 74,000 popular songs released between 1960 and 1990, the most common pulse was 120 bpm.

But when using a treadmill, most people prefer music with a tempo of roughly 160 bpm: Songza and jog. FM are two websites and mobile apps that assist users in matching the beat of their workout music to their jogging pace by suggesting songs as fast as 180 bpm for a seven-minute mile, for instance. But according to the most recent research, there is a ceiling impact at about 145 beats per minute; anything higher does not appear to increase desire significantly. Some people work out to rap songs, for example, which have dense, quickly spoken lyrics placed on a relatively quiet rhythm. In these cases, the pace and flow of the poems take precedence over the underlying beat.

Although synchronization may aid in the body using energy more effectively, many people do not feel the need to move or run in precise time with their workout music. The body may not need as many modifications to coordinated actions when moving rhythmically to a beat as it would if there were no regular external cues. According to a 2012 study by C. J. Bacon of Sheffield Hallam University, Karageorghis, and his colleagues, cyclists who timed their motions to the music needed 7% less oxygen to complete the same task as cyclists who did not. Piece appears to act as a metronome, assisting in pace maintenance, minimizing false steps, and lowering energy expenditure.