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Music and Exercise Facts: Should You Work Out with Music?

Last updated: 2 weeks ago
16 min read

Here are the results of over 150 studies on music and exercise. Learn how music impacts exercise performance in simple terms without reading the endless data (we read it for you).

Wearing earbuds is forbidden for the top competitors on many marathons. What’s the reason for it? The organizers are afraid music gives you an advantage over runners who don’t listen to music.

Are their fears substantiated?

Below is the data that says yes.

Michael Phelps won 8 medals (6 gold, 2 bronze) in the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2008 Beijing, he won 8 medals again, all gold. He was listening to music 2 minutes before every swimming competition.

Was there a specific reason for it?

The music and exercise studies say yes. Find the details below.

Music gives you a psychological and motoric edge which improves physical performance. Let’s dig in:

Music and Exercise Facts (Key Takeaway)

  • Listening to music during exercise increased endurance by 65%, a study found.
  • Enjoyable music increases blood flow efficiency by 26%.
  • 40% to 65% of people that start working out stop in the first 3-6 months.
  • Music impacts exercise more than sports.
  • Fast-tempo music enhances performance more than slow-tempo music.
  • Music is ineffective in reducing perceived exertion during high-intensity exercise in average people but reduces it in highly-trained athletes.
  • Our bodies synchronize and change according to music’s rhythm and beat.
  • When listening to music before and during exercise athletes showed increased power output.
  • Listening to motivational music increases running endurance by 17.5%.
  • Listening to music before exercise increases power output in sprinters.
  • Fast music improves walking endurance by 44%.
  • Competitors were cycling 8.5% faster when listening to music, one study showed.
  • Cyclists listening to music they liked traveled 38% (2.7km) further than cyclists who listened to non-preferred music.
  • Swimming with music is 2% faster.
  • Exercising with music pushes max heart rate 4.6% higher.
  • Music tempo above 120 beats/min is the best for high-intensity exercise.
CONTENTS (show more)

    Benefits of Listening to Music While Working Out

    • One study found that listening to music during exercise increased endurance by 65%.
    Listening to music during exercise increases endurance by 65%

    An LN Medical College and Research Centre study found that listening to music when working out improved endurance by 65%.

    Participants who were listening to music during an exercise to exhaustion lasted 14min 38s longer than those who didn’t.

    Avg. exercise duration
    With music37min7s ± 16.26 min
    No music22min29s ± 15.48 min

    Key takeaway:

    • Listening to music reduces perceived exertion and improves physiological efficiency.
    • Music increases endurance, lowers pain, and makes it easier to go through it

    The study was done with 50 untrained randomly-chosen volunteer medical students aged 19 to 25 years old.

    Source: LN Medical College and Research Centre

    • Listening to enjoyable music increases blood flow efficiency by 26%.

    Increased blood flow impacts many physiological processes. Most notably, it improves oxygen utilization and, thus, performance.

    But listening to anxiety-inducing music decreases blood flow by 6%, negatively affecting performance.

    Consequently, the beneficial effects of music on physiology are based mainly on personal preference and music taste. The music you like will give you the biggest boost, but to somebody else, who doesn’t like your music, it might have a negative effect.

    Source: Miller, M., Beach, V., Mangano, C., & Vogel, R. A. Positive emotions and the endothelium: Does joyful music improve vascular health?

    A study of studies

    Here are the results of 139-study analysis from 1911 to 2017, 107 years, including 3599 participants (Effects of Music in Exercise and Sport: A Meta-Analytic Review). This makes it the most relevant and accurate data on music’s effects on exercise.

    Below is a summary of the analysis.

    Listening to music is related to beneficial effects on the following:

    1. Physical performance (improves speed, endurance, and movement efficiency)
    2. Mood and motivation (enhances good feelings and the desire to exert harder)
    3. Perceived exertion (lowers the feeling of fatigue during and after exercise)
    4. Oxygen consumption (optimizes oxygen utilization)

    But music has no beneficial effects on the average heart rate during exercise.

    Here’s the table with the analysis results:

    EffectSME
    Overall effect0.29
    Effect on:
    Feeling scale (motivation)0.48
    Performance (speed, strength, endurance)0.31
    Perceived exertion (fatigue)0.22
    Oxygen consumption0.15
    Heart rate0.07
    Standardized mean effect (SME) values below 0.2 are considered a small effect, 0.5 a medium effect, and 0.8 a high effect. All the standardized mean effects were small but significant except “heart rate”.

    Music has the largest effect on mood and motivation for exercise. In other words, it makes exercising more enjoyable. It thus makes people who would otherwise give up stick with the workout plan.

    This benefit of music can be a great tool in promoting healthy lifestyles with regular, weekly exercise. If people motivate themselves with music they like, they’ll likely stick to working out.

    • Trends shows that 40% to 65% of people starting new exercise programs stop working out in the first 3-6 months.

    Music can help people stick to the workout plan by:

    • Making exercise more pleasant
    • Reducing fatigue and tiredness
    • Increase feelings of belonging with other exercisers

    Source: Dishman, R. K. Exercise adherence: Its impact on public health.

    Additional findings of the study:

    • Music has a higher impact on exercise than sports.

    Activities like running, swimming, lifting weights, and cardio include repetitive movements and few distractions. In contrast, sports, especially team sports, demand focus on playing the game, lowering the music’s effect. Though the music benefits in sports are lesser, they’re still significant, especially in professional sports where the differences are tiny.

    The music effects on performance in exercise vs. sport:

    ParticipantsSME
    Exercise participants0.35
    Sport participants0.15
    Standardized mean effect (SME) values below 0.2 are considered a small effect, 0.5 a medium effect, and 0.8 a high effect. All the standardized mean effects were small but significant, thanks to the sample size.

    Is slow music or fast music better for exercise performance?

    • Fast-tempo music improves performance more than slow-tempo music.

    An athlete’s physical performance is the best in a high-energy, activation state. Fast-tempo music activates and arouses the mind and body more than slow music, thus enhancing performance.

    Fast-tempo music has 120 beats/min or more. Slower music doesn’t offer optimal benefits. We go into more detail about the tempo below.

    Here’s a table with the quantifiable difference on performance between fast and slow-tempo music:

    Tempo of musicSME
    Fast tempo0.38
    Slow-to moderate tempo0.21
    Standardized mean effect (SME) values below 0.2 are considered a small effect, 0.5 a medium effect, and 0.8 a high effect. All the standardized mean effects were small but significant, thanks to the sample size.

    On the other hand, the studies show the music tempo makes no difference on perceived fatigue.

    Here’s another one:

    • Music is ineffective in reducing perceived exertion during high-intensity exercise in regular people (above 75% VO2 max).

    While it has been shown that music reduces the perceived exertion during and after a workout, it loses its effectiveness during high-intensity activity.

    VO2 max is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption during physical activity. Exercise above 70% VO2 max aerobic capacity is considered high intensity, and under 70% VO2 max is considered moderate to low intensity.

    The notion is that music distracts our brains from acknowledging uncomfortable fatigue signals our bodies send. But only to a certain point.

    When exercise becomes difficult, a person loses the benefits of music because the brain is flooded with fatigue signals.

    Though, this is true only for average people because highly-trained athletes get a different response.

    • Listening to music reduces perceived exertion during high-intensity exercise in highly-trained athletes.

    Why the difference? Because highly-trained athletes are used to the discomfort of fatigue, this negates the music’s distraction effect but keeps other benefits. They focus on synchronizing exercise and music by synchronizing movement to the music beat and look for inspiration in the lyrics.

    Source: Peter C. Terry, Costas I. Karageorghis, Alessandra Mecozzi Saha, Shaun D’Auria, Effects of synchronous music on treadmill running among elite triathletes.

    Here’s another study of music effects on tennis players:

    • A study of tennis players found they listen to music to change emotions, improve mood and increase the sensitivity of visual and auditory senses.

    Listening to music before a tennis match is a common strategy for professional athletes, and it’s no secret why.

    Athletes gain a slight performance advantage by choosing songs with inspirational lyrics, musical properties that induce desired emotions, and songs that associate them with pushing harder.

    Source: Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, A Grounded Theory of Young Tennis Players’ Use of Music to Manipulate Emotional State.

    • Our bodies synchronize and change according to music’s rhythm and beat.
    Our bodies synchronize to music’s rhythm and beat

    Music affects our physiology and the strength of responses depends on personal preference, mood, and emotions. Studies show a consistent cardiovascular and respiratory response for various music genres.

    • Our bodies respond to music even when listening to music that’s not our preference.
    • Musicians and non-musicians respond similarly to music.

    Music operates at a sub-conscious level via the autonomic nervous system. Therefore, a conscious decision has no impact on our bodily response.

    Here’s an average response from study subjects when listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.:

    A music genre’s physiological effect is similar for everyone, whatever the individual music preference.

    Source: Luciano Bernardi, Cesare Porta, Gaia Casucci, Rossella Balsamo, Nicolò F. Bernardi, Roberto Fogari and Peter Sleight, Dynamic Interactions Between Musical, Cardiovascular, and Cerebral Rhythms in Humans.

    How music benefits exercise and sport?

    This graphic shows the conceptual framework of how music impacts exercise.

    Can you lift more when listening to music?

    • Athletes showed increased power output when listening to music before and during exercise.
    Listening to music makes you stronger

    There aren’t many studies measuring music’s effect on power output, but we found one study testing the premise (find source below).

    They tested sprinters for maximum and average power output and both were higher when listening to music. Power output was higher if they listened to music only during warm-up, as well as during activity.

    Granted, sprinting isn’t the same as lifting weights, but during a sprint the same muscles are activated as when doing squats. We can assume the same effect on muscle strength is true when bench pressing or doing deadlifts.

    Here’s the same data from the sprinting study:

    MarkerNo musicWith music
    Max power output (Ppeak)11.04 ± 1.0411.49 ± 0.96
    Avg. power output (Pmean)8.6 ± 0.478.96 ± 0.53
    Significant difference = P < 0.05

    This is a common question for all gym junkies. And now you know.

    Listening to motivational music when lifting weights and working out will increase your strength.

    Source: H. Chtourou, M. Jarraya, A. Aloui, O. Hammouda, N. Souissi, The effects of music during warm-up on anaerobic performances of young sprinters.

    Does music help muscles grow?

    Music doesn’t have a direct impact on muscle growth. You can’t grow muscle simply by listening to music. But if you listen to motivating music when lifting weights it will push you to train harder and thus optimize the muscle growing process.

    Music Benefits for Running

    • A study showed listening to a constant beat improves running endurance by 19.5% and listening to motivational music increases endurance by 17.5%.
    Motivational music improves running endurance by 17.5%

    A constant beat or metronome was set at 130 beats/min or above and adjusted with the runner’s tempo. The music also had a tempo above 130 beats/min for optimal results.

    • Running with music optimizes movement fluidity which results in lower energy consumption.

    The right music helps adjust stride patterns and improves fluidity, resulting in fewer micro-adjustments to movement patterns during a run. This micro-optimization contributes to a slight decrease in energy use which can make a difference in running races where time differences are often measured in a hundredth of a second.

    • Music with the right tempo (beat) pushes runners to exert harder and run more efficiently, thus improving running performance.

    They tested runners on a treadmill in 3 different conditions: without music, with constant metronome (only beat), and motivational music with 130 beats/min or more at 80-84 db in volume.

    Here are the results of how long runners ran until exhaustion:

    ConditionTimeChange
    No music624s/
    Metronome (constant beat)746s+19.5%
    Motivational music733s+17.5%
    Change is calculated to the control condition of “no music”.

    What this study shows is that the beats per minute or tempo is what optimizes running especially if it’s following the running tempo. The motivational aspects of music didn’t improve running endurance as hypothesized.

    This explains why so many runners prefer to run with music. Not only does it motivate you, but it also optimizes your movements for a bit of extra performance.

    Data shows music improves physical performance in long-duration activities with rhythmical and repetitive movements like running, cycling, and swimming.

    Here’s a table of songs and their motivational quality used in the study:

    ArtistSong titleAvg. bpmMotivational quality
    Black Eyed PeasPump It153.6232.50
    The ProdigyOmen140.0031.00
    DJ TiestoHe’s A Pirate140.0130.00
    Red Hot Chili PeppersHigher Ground140.7829.75
    David Guetta feat. JulietDo Something Love134.0029.75
    Motivational quality=BMRI-2 data, higher is better. bpm=song’s tempo in beats per minute

    Music with a tempo above 120 beats/min is optimal for running this is why all the songs used in the test were in the range between 130-150 beats/min.

    Source: Robert Jan Bood, Marijn Nijssen, John van der Kamp, Melvyn Roerdink, The Power of Auditory-Motor Synchronization in Sports: Enhancing Running Performance by Coupling Cadence with the Right Beats.

    Here’s an interesting anecdote: On February 1998, Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie shocked the public when he ran a world record time of 4:52:86 min in the 2000 m. After the competition, Haile revealed that he synchronized his running tempo with the beat of the Scatman by Scatman John playing during his race.

    • When listening to preferred music runners ran 10% further in a 6 minutes time trial.

    Runners listening to music achieved 14% higher average running speed and 8% lower blood lactate (an indicator of fatigue).

    Here’s the breakdown of the music effects on markers:

    MarkerMusic during warm-upMusic during exercise
    Distance ran+8%+10%
    Average running speed+8%+14%
    Average blood lactate0%-8%

    Listening to preferred music during warm-up, before running, helps too but to a lower degree. Interestingly, listening to music during warm-up didn’t have an affect on blood lactate like music during exercise.

    The participants were listening to music with a tempo of 130 ± 10 beats/min at 70 dB volume.

    Source: The University of Manouba, The effects of preferred music and its timing on performance,
    pacing, and psychophysiological responses during the 6-min test.

    How does music before activity affect high-intensity performance like sprinting?

    • Listening to music before exercise, during warm-up, enhances power output in sprinters.
    Music during warm-up alone improves performance

    The data might be hard to understand for a regular person, but it’s conclusive. Listening to music during warm-up or exercise will make you stronger.

    Here’s the power output data:

    MarkerNo musicWith music
    Max power output (Ppeak)11.04 ± 1.0411.49 ± 0.96
    Avg. power output (Pmean)8.6 ± 0.478.96 ± 0.53
    Significant difference = P < 0.05

    But they found no statistically significant differences in perceived fatigue and exertion.

    MarkerNo musicWith music
    Fatigue index40.67 ±8.643 ±7.68

    The study tested how music before a sprint, during warm-up, impacts the sprint. Researchers used the Wingate test to measure power output testing 9 sprinters.

    Should you listen to music during warm-up?

    Listening to music during warm-up can improve your sport and exercise performance by increasing power output for a short time.

    Source: H. Chtourou, M. Jarraya, A. Aloui, O. Hammouda, N. Souissi, The effects of music during warm-up on anaerobic performances of young sprinters.

    Walking with music

    • Walking with fast music improves endurance by 44%.
    Listening to music when walking enhances endurance

    Participants walking with fast music walked 0.54 km (44.6%) further and with slow music 0.24 km (19.8%) further while the perceived exertion stayed the same.

    In the study participants walked on a treadmill without music, with slow music, and fast music.

    Here’s are the results of music effects on walking:

    MarkersNo musicSlow music
    Fast music
    Duration14.84 min16.77 min19.94 min
    Distance
    walked
    1.21 km1.45 km1.75 km
    Perceived
    exertion
    11.8811.4611.6
    There’s no significant difference in perceived exertion scores.

    The endurance if the participants also increased when listening to music, confirming the findings of other studies.

    Source: Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, Effect of different types of music on exercise performance in normal individuals.

    Should you wear earbuds in a marathon?

    If you’re an amateur runner and not competing for the top positions, you should listen to music because it gives you a slight edge.

    But some marathons have made it against their rules to wear running earbuds, because it’s perceived it gives you an advantage. So, make sure you’re following the rules to avoid getting into trouble.

    Music Benefits for Cycling

    • A cycling race study showed competitors were cycling 8.5% faster when listening to music.
    Competitors cycled 8.5% faster with music

    Research of music effects on cycling performance goes back to 1911 when L.P. Ayres, Ph.D., studied a 6-day cycling race. He found that competitors raced 17 seconds per mile or 8.5% faster when a military band played music.

    What was the actual difference?

    Here’s a breakdown in average time cycled per mile:

    CyclingAvg. mile timeSpeed
    With music3min 4s19.6 mph
    No music3min 21s17.9 mph

    The average time per mile cycled when band was playing was 3min 4s, at 19.6 miles per hour. When the band was not playing, the average time was 3m 21s, at a rate of 17.9 miles per hour. That’s 17 seconds per mile faster.

    Also, the fastest mile cycled in the whole race took 2 minutes 28 seconds and it happened when the band was playing music.

    What we can conclude from the cycling study:

    • Listening to music when cycling increases physical performance.
    • Music has a considerable stimulating effect on physical effort.

    Source: Leonard P. Ayres Ph.D., The Influence of Music on Speed in the Six Day Bicycle Race

    But music doesn’t affect physiological performance in all cases.

    • A study of professional cyclists showed no meaningful effects of music in a 10 km race.

    Well-trained pro cyclists did a 10km cycle time trial. And the results showed no significant differences.

    Here are the results of music benefits on cycling for 10km:

    MarkersNo musicWith music
    Duration17.81 ± 2.0617.75 ± 2.1
    Average power output220 ± 65222 ± 66
    Peak heart rate (beats/min)183 ± 8184 ± 9
    Max blood lactate11.9 ± 2.112.1 ± 2.6
    Perceived exertion8.5 ± 1.68.4 ± 1.5

    This study shows contrary data to previously mentioned findings. Here are some of the possible explanations:

    • The tempo of the chosen music wasn’t optimal for performance (120 beats/min is optimal).
    • Music doesn’t affect well-trained athletes because they’re already performing close to their peak.
    • A 10 KM cycling test isn’t exhausting enough to show a real difference in performance. For example, most Tour de France stages fall in the 160 to 200 km.
    • The cyclists listening to music did finish slightly faster, thus winning the time trial, though the difference wasn’t significant.

    Source: International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, The Effect of Music on 10-km Cycle Time-Trial Performance. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

    • Cyclists listening to music they liked traveled 38% (2.7km) further than cyclists who listened to non-preferred music.

    Listening to music you like when cycling increases endurance and lowers fatigue. A study of high-intensity cycling compared performance when listening to preferred music vs. non-preferred music.

    Here are the results:

    Distance traveled
    Preferred music9.8 ± 4.6 km (+2.7 km or +38%)
    Non-preferred music7.1 ± 3.5 km

    This study again showed a beneficial effect of music in high-intensity cycling which was found in previous studies. The heart rate responses didn’t show any significant change, while received exertion was higher with non-preferred music.

    Unfortunately, we don’t know how trained the participants in the study were to compare it to the results of the study above that found no improvement for highly-trained cyclists.

    Source: Nakamura, P. M., Pereira, G., Papini, C. B., Nakamura, F. Y., & Kokubun, E. (2010). Effects of Preferred and Nonpreferred Music on Continuous Cycling Exercise Performance.

    Music Benefits for Swimmers

    Does music help swimming? Let’s see what the studies say.

    • When listening to music, swimmers swam 2% faster.
    Swimming with music is 2% faster

    The study included 26 participants 18-23 years old in a 200m freestyle time trial. They were given Speedo Aquabeat MP3s (discontinued) to listen to music in the pool.

    They tested swimming times in 3 different conditions:

    • With motivational music (130 beats/min)
    • With neutral music /130 beats/min)
    • No music.

    Swimmers swam 2% faster on average with motivational and neutral music compared to no music.

    Some participants saw an even greater increase in speed, largely due to a different level of association ability (the effect music has on a person).

    You might think 2% isn’t much. Yet, in professional swimming, the differences between competitors are measured in a hundredth of a second (centiseconds), and even 1% is a significant difference.

    So, should you listen to music when swimming?

    Whatever type of swimmer you are, you’re likely to swim a bit faster if you swim with music.

    Source: Psychological, psychophysical, and ergogenic effects of music in swimming.

    How to listen to music while swimming?

    You can listen to music with underwater MP3 players explicitly made for swimmers. You can put on your favorite songs, podcasts, or audiobooks and listen to them while doing laps in the pool.

    Why not use waterproof Bluetooth earbuds?

    Regular Bluetooth earbuds don’t work underwater even if you have a fully waterproof pair because the Bluetooth signal cannot travel through dense water.

    Music vs. Heart Rate

    • Exercising with music pushes your max heart rate up by 4.6%.

    Change is not significant but does show a small effect on the heart rate. People push themselves harder when listening to music, resulting in a higher max heart rate. These results were measured while doing medium-intensity exercise.

    Also, listening to music didn’t significantly affect the average heart rate either.

    Here’s a table with heart rate data when listening to music vs. no music:

    MarkerWithout musicWith musicDifference
    Max heart rate131.92 beats/min138.02 beats/min+4.6%
    Change in heart rate50.48 beats/min54.32 beats/min+7.6%

    Additional findings: 

    • A slow-tempo music throughout moderate exercise can marginally reduce heart rate.
    • Fast-tempo music slightly increases heart rate during easy, low-intensity exercise, but the difference isn’t significant.

    While the data shows a small difference in heart rate it’s not a significant difference due to a relatively small sample size. Meaning, due to the possibility of the error in data we cannot conclude music has a big-enough impact on heart rate.

    Source: LN Medical College and Research Centre, Bhopal, Effect of music tempo on exercise performance and heart rate among young adults.

    What is The Best Workout Music?

    There is some controversy in this field of research. New research is needed to get conclusive evidence because some studies in this field have contrary findings. But general rules apply:

    • A faster tempo music above 120 beats/min is optimal for higher-intensity exercise.
    Music above 120 beats/min is best for exercise

    120 bpm is 2x the resting heart rate of healthy adults, reflecting natural rhythmicity and seemingly magic numbers in terms of human activation. Most modern songs have a dominant tempo of 120. People like it more.

    But there’s more nuance to it. Optimal tempos are different depending on intensity.

    If you want to rest, listen to music with around 50 beats/per min. For a warm-up, go up to 80 beats/min. For light jogging, stay around 120 beats/min. And for high-intensity exercise, 140 beats/min is the best.

    Here’s a breakdown of optimal music tempo for different intensity exercises:

    Activity intensityOptimal tempo
    Rest50 beats/min
    Warm-up80 beats/min
    Light jogging120 beats/min
    High-intensity exercise140 beats/min

    Source: P. C. Terry, O. V. Martin, R. L. Parsons-Smith, Effects of Music in Exercise and Sport: A Meta-Analytic Review. Published December 2019. Accessed December 7, 2022.

    • Music benefits at all intensities of exercise, though studies show lesser effects with high-intensity activity.

    Music delays fatigue and thus enhances performance because our nervous systems can only focus on 1 stimulus at a time, which postpones the fatigue. But the effect is smaller in highly-trained people. High intensity exercise is considered at VO2 max above 70%.

    • Non-preferred music can have a detrimental effect on your enjoyment of exercise, endurance, and perceived exertion.

    Listening to music you don’t like can worsen your endurance and perceived exhaustion compared to not listening to music at all.

    Here’s a breakdown of distance traveled by music genre:

    1st session2nd session3rd session
    Control group9.85 (no music)9.81 (no music)9.85 (no music)
    Experiment 19.62 (no music)9.81 (classical)9.38 (techno)
    Experiment 210.21 (no music)10.26 (techno)10.38 (classical)

    You can see the difference in distance traveled for each experiment. Because the participants in each experiment were different, so were the responses to music. But generally classical music was better than techno, and techno was better than no music.

    Here’s data that explains correlation between distance covered and perceived effort by music genre:

    Music genrePerceived effort
    Distance classical-.661
    Distance no music-.457
    Distance techno-.397

    The theory is that favored music helps you redirect focus from exercise to the auditory stimulus, thus lowering the perceived exertion and increasing pain tolerance.

    Listening to preferred music increases pain tolerance more than other cognitive distractions, like mental tasks and humor. This suggests the main benefit during exercise comes from changing focus on external music over internal physical discomfort.

    • Who selects the music doesn’t impact the influence as long as the music has the right parameters (mainly tempo) and isn’t inducing anxiety in listeners.

    Source: J. Leon, F. Guillen, Z. R. Alfonso, Influence of music on physical performance, perceived exertion and motivation

    When is music stimulating or relaxing?

    Musical elementStimulatingRelaxing
    Rhythm/beatProminent beat with pausesConsistent
    Tempo>120 beats/min with variations<80beats/min
    VolumeMedium to loud volume with variationsConsistent
    HarmonyA sense of tension and releasePredictable patterns
    MelodyLarge leaps and intervalsLess variation in pitch, predictable
    FormSong divided into prominent sectionsLess defined changes between sections
    TimbreMore variation, more instrumentsLess instruments
    LyricsInspiring, encouraging, inducing personal associationsNo vocals, no words
    Source: I. N. Clark & J. Tamplin, How Music Can Influence the Body: Perspectives from Current Research. Accessed 8 December 2022.

    Conclusion: Music and Exercise Facts

    While more studies are needed to get definitive knowledge on the impact size of music’s effects on exercise and sport, one thing is certain. The right music enhances physical and physiological performance during exercise.

    Music is easily-obtainable for most athletes and offers a significant performance boost. For the best effect, personalize it to fit the taste and tempo of the activity. And you should listen to it during exercise, pre-workout, and post-workout in the recovery phase.

    Hopefully, this answers why so many people like to listen to music during exercise and why you should keep doing so.

    1. P. C. Terry, O. V. Martin, R. L. Parsons-Smith, Effects of Music in Exercise and Sport: A Meta-Analytic Review. Published Dec. 2019. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.
    2. LN Medical College and Research Centre, Bhopal, Effect of music tempo on exercise performance and heart rate among young adults. Published 15 April 2017. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.
    3. Leonard P. Ayres Ph.D., The Influence of Music on Speed in the Six Day Bicycle Race. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.
    4. Miller, M., Beach, V., Mangano, C., & Vogel, R. A. Positive emotions and the endothelium: Does joyful music improve vascular health? Presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, November 2008.
    5. Robert Jan Bood, Marijn Nijssen, John van der Kamp, Melvyn Roerdink, The Power of Auditory-Motor Synchronization in Sports: Enhancing Running Performance by Coupling Cadence with the Right Beats. Published 7 August 2013. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.
    6. Peter C. Terry, Costas I. Karageorghis, Alessandra Mecozzi Saha, Shaun D’Auria, Effects of synchronous music on treadmill running among elite triathletes. Published 1 Aug. 2011. Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
    7. Dishman, R. K. Exercise adherence: Its impact on public health (book). Published 1988. Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
    8. C. Karageorghis, Hutchinson, Jones, Farmer, Ayhan, Wilcons, Rance, Hepworth, Psychological, psychophysical, and ergogenic effects of music in swimming. Published July 2013. Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
    9. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, A Grounded Theory of Young Tennis Players’ Use of Music to Manipulate Emotional State. Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
    10. Luciano Bernardi, Cesare Porta, Gaia Casucci, Rossella Balsamo, Nicolò F. Bernardi, Roberto Fogari and Peter Sleight, Dynamic Interactions Between Musical, Cardiovascular, and Cerebral Rhythms in Humans. Published 22 Jun. 2019. Accessed 12 Dec. 2022.
    11. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, The Effect of Music on 10-km Cycle Time-Trial Performance. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.
    12. H. Chtourou, M. Jarraya, A. Aloui, O. Hammouda, N. Souissi, The effects of music during warm-up on anaerobic performances of young sprinters. Published  24 Jan 2011. Accessed 13 Dec 2022.
    13. Samford University, The Influence of Music Preference on Exercise Responses and Performance: A Review. Published 8 April 2021. Accessed 8 December 2022.
    14. J. Leon, F. Guillen, Z. R. Alfonso, Influence of music on physical performance, perceived exertion and motivation. Accessed 13 December 2022.
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