“Sports without music is just a game. Music makes it entertaining” – Ice Cube
How many times have you seen a runner steam through a park with only their headphones to keep them company or heard the beat pumping sounds of the early 2000s blasting through the gym speakers? Sports psychologist and world-leading researcher on music for performance, Dr Costas Karageorghis, has carried out over 100 studies to see the results of synchronous music with sport and says that we can think of music as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug”.
How can Music Affect performance?
The Art of Distraction
It’s been shown that listening to music during exercise increases the efficiency of activity and diverts the mind from experiencing fatigue. Sports scientists at Brunel University have demonstrated that music can improve your endurance by 15%. This increases your work capacity and allows for heightened strength during a workout.
One of the greatest distance runners in history, Haile Gebrselassie, synched his stride to the song “Scatman” when breaking the 10,000-metre world record.
Music Boosts Brain Chemicals
Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter, Dopamine, the brain’s motivation molecule. Dopamine is particularly important for athletes due to it being an essential ingredient in the adrenal process and the release of adrenaline.
Music conjures Emotion
Several studies have shown that music can boost your internal motivation by triggering happy memories, ultimately allowing you to experience a heightened pleasure from the activity. Researchers believe that when you hear a piece of music that has emotional significance to you, you can increase your adherence to an exercise programme in the long run.
Music can Improve your Concentration
Stanford University researchers have found that specific music can enhance concentration and effectively prolong performance. Similarly, listening to calming music before activity, whether for exercise or professional sport, can help with nerves or anxiety. Acting as a mood relaxer, music helps to boost performance by developing confidence.
Music activates the Brain
Music has been found to activate every known part of the brain improving memory, attention, physical coordination, and mental development. Karageorghis’ research shows listening to music activates several major parts of the brain at once- the parietal lobe, the visual processing lobe and the temporal lobe. While are three are critical to athletic performance, the parietal lobe contains the motor cortex regulating the body’s motor function. This helps determine how straight we throw a ball or how well we coordinate our limbs when running, and allows us to fall into our rhythm as we work.
Get Moving and Get Listening
From running to weightlifting, a steady beat has been found to offer a variety of benefits to physical exercise. Between our Atlas soundbar for some garden sunrise yoga, the Petersfield Go portable DAB radio for an intensive run meets risk powerwalk or the Little Shelford Bluetooth digital radio, for a living room dance session, Majority has all bases covered to enhance your physical activity.
What music do you listen to while you exercise? Tag us on social media with your favourite Majority device while you work out @majorityaudio #majorityaudio #carbonneutralaudio