The kind of music that sets your feet tapping and makes your heart happy is the music that helps you work out effectively, says new research.
This intriguing piece of research submitted by a postdoctoral fellow of the University of British Columbia is opening new doors to the workout regime. It demonstrates that upbeat music has the capability to make a rigorous workout session easier – both mentally and physically. The research also concludes that this is true for people who are generally insufficiently active.
Matthew Stork, who contributed to this research, is a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia. He recently published an article about this study that examines the impact of the right kind of music on people. It explains how the right music can help the less-active get the most of their workout and also enjoy it more.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a process of brief, repeated bouts of intense exercise that are separated by periods of rest. When done consistently over several weeks, this mode of exercise has shown significant results in terms of helping people improve their overall physical health. However, HIIT is not preferred by those who are less active.
Speaking on this, Stork said, “While HIIT is time-efficient and can elicit meaningful health benefits among adults who are insufficiently active, one major drawback is that people may find it to be unpleasant. As a result, this has the potential to discourage continued participation.”
In their previous studies, Stork and other university researchers had taken up the examination of the effects of music during HIIT on recreationally-active people. Following that is their latest study that analyses the effects of music on participants who are generally insufficiently-active. For this lot of subjects, they used a more rigorous music process and then implemented the HIIT regimen that worked well for less-active adults.
The experiment worked well, exhibiting elevated heart rates and peak power in the sessions with music when compared to the podcast and no-audio sessions. The participants reported greater enjoyment of HIIT and also admitted that it makes them feel more alive.
Stork said that the more he looked at the results, the more they surprised him. He and the researchers believed that subjects would definitely enjoy the exercise more but the elevated heart rate came as a surprise for all of them.
The elevated heart rates are referred to as “entrainment.” Stork feels that humans have an innate tendency to alter the frequency of their biological rhythms towards a musical rhythm. Hence, fast-tempo music might have helped the subjects increase their heart rate during exercise.
“Music can be a practical strategy to help insufficiently active people get more out of their HIIT workouts and may even encourage continued participation,” added Stork.
Doesn’t this explain why we feel great after a wonderful workout session with that upbeat music in the background? Looks like music is doing much more than just providing entertainment! So, all you people out there, plug in your earphones and get moving!