It’s the rare person who actually enjoys working out; for most of us it’s something we have to grit our teeth and endure so we can maintain our extravagant pizza and biscuit diet without ballooning to monstrous proportions.
But researchers have now got evidence to support something many gym-goers, runners and pilate-ers already stand by: listening to upbeat music can increase your tolerance for intense exercise and make your workouts feel easier. Great news!
Scientists at Texas Tech University say their new study shows how people who listened to music during a cardiac stress test were able to sweat it out for nearly a minute longer than those who didn’t.
The study was presented last week at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting in Orlando.
“At least on a small scale, this study provides some evidence that music may help serve as an extra tool to help motivate someone to exercise more—which is critical to heart health,” said lead author Dr. Waseem Shami, a cardiology fellow at Texas Tech University Health Sciences.
“Our findings reinforce the idea that upbeat music has a synergistic effect in terms of making you want to exercise longer and stick with a daily exercise routine,” he added. “When doctors are recommending exercise, they might suggest listening to music too.”
Dr. Shami and his colleagues recruited 127 people, who were all put through a routine electrocardiogram (ECG) treadmill stress test, during the study.
Half of the people were randomly selected to listen to Latin-inspired, up-tempo music during their time on the treadmill, while the other half walked in silence, according to Time.
When they ran the numbers, the researchers found that people who listened to music stuck with the test for an average of 8 minutes and 26 seconds, compared to an average of 7 minutes and 35 seconds for the silent group.
“After six minutes, you feel like you are running up a mountain, so even being able to go 50 seconds longer means a lot,” said Dr. Shami.
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