Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Science Says

When I run, I listen to music.  It gets me fired up.  It helps me focus.  It helps me pick up the pace.  It helps me dig deeper.  And it keeps me going.  And going.  And going.  Music has carried me through many a hard workout, countless long runs, and all of my 8 marathons.  In running, it is my most loyal companion as it never, EVER, let's me down.  I understand that running (or doing any type of exercise) with music doesn't work for everyone.  If this is the case for you; fair enough.  I'm not suggesting you switch.  But, for those of you who aren't sure or have never tried it, I'm saying, why not rock it out next time you hit the road?  Research shows that music can elevate your mood in general.  This, alone, is reason enough for me to turn it up.  Research also shows that music can improve overall athletic performance when used during training.  Again, I'm sold.  Need more info?  Watch this 2 minute video by Science Says entitled, Can Music Improve Athletic Performance?  (sent to me by one of my LHS XC runners).  The guy talks and draws ridiculously fast.  I pulled out the key points and listed them down below so you can ponder them at your leisure.  Still not your thing?  Totally fine.  It is a personal choice and I respect that.  But, if you are needing some extra motivation these days, or want to try something new while you're sweating it out, I can not recommend it highly enough.  Thanks to good old science for helping me reinforce my point.  Rock and run on.

~ Music can act as both a cognitive and physical stimulant, especially when the music has a personal meaning to the individual.

~ For athletes who suffer from pre-competition anxiety, music can be used to enhance mood, self esteem and confidence.

~ During competition, music can narrow and athletes attention, diverting focus away from sensations of fatigue.

~ In studies of athletes using music, those who listen to pop songs during training or warm up had higher heart rates and increased muscle power compared to those who trained without music.

~ Because music can trigger emotion, it was documented to enhance mental imagery; a technique in which athletes picture themselves mastering a sport before competition.

~ Almost all findings found that listening to music PERIOD, regardless of composition or speed, enhanced performance compared to no music.

Fall in Love - Phantogram  

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