Wednesday, September 08, 2010

How to Create the Ultimate Exercise Playlist

Studies show that the rhythmic speed of your music influences your athletic performance. Here's how to use that information to create the ultimate playlist for your workout.

While it's no surprise that fast-paced music is a good and popular exercise companion, a study published last year discovered a direct correlation between fast-paced music and athletic performance. Volunteers in the study were given popular music to listen to while riding a stationary bicycle. For the first ride, the music was played as-is. In subsequent rides, the some volunteers received music slowed down by 10% and others received music sped up by 10%. The riders were not informed of the change, yet their performance changed nonetheless:
"When the tempo slowed, so did their pedaling and their entire affect. Their heart rates fell. Their mileage dropped. They reported that they didn't like the music much. On the other hand, when the tempo of the songs was upped 10 percent, the men covered more miles in the same period of time, produced more power with each pedal stroke and increased their pedal cadences. Their heart rates rose. They reported enjoying the music - the same music - about 36 percent more than when it was slowed. But, paradoxically, they did not find the workout easier. Their sense of how hard they were working rose 2.4 percent. The up-tempo music didn't mask the discomfort of the exercise. But it seemed to motivate them to push themselves. As the researchers wrote, when "the music was played faster, the participants chose to accept, and even prefer, a greater degree of effort."

Cheers...

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