If music is good for the mind, and exercise is good for the body why not combine the two at the same time?
Since I can remember, music has been a part of exercise, either playing in the background or exercising to the beat of the music. At the school gym there would be rock and roll playing while exercising on the machines. When running or walking outside I would find songs I can use the tempo of to keep a consistent pace. In group exercise class they would play upbeat motivational music to keep us moving and to help not focus on how hard we are breathing. During Yoga class, they play soft, meditation music to help calm our minds and relax into the poses and stretches we are trying to perform.
Many forms of exercise combined with different forms of music can help bring further benefit to the workout. By listening to preferred music, it can leave a positive effect on the brain and help associate what might be seen as a difficult workout more pleasurable. The exercise will be linked to the feeling of listening to a favorite song or favorite genre. With calming music during a cooldown or slower paced class like Yoga, music can bring our mind into a state of peace and relaxation.
Another benefit seen is music can keep the mind occupied while the body is working. When working out alone in a Fitness Center or at home, some people find it boring, especially having to wait during rest times before the next set or exercise. By incorporating music, the rest time becomes less tedious and more fun! Stretching the muscles at the end of a workout also takes time and patience to sit in a pose for 30 seconds up to a minute. With music that can become time to catch up on music you have been wanting to listen to or even podcasts or book audios if music is not an interest.
With today’s technology there are various methods to listen to music. There are many kinds of headphones to wear that can go over the ears or in the ears that are both corded or wireless connecting to a phone. Speakers used at home or TV channels that play almost any genre 24/7. There are even hearing aids that can wirelessly connect to a phone.
If music is not your jam that is okay too. For some, the silence during exercise can feel therapeutic. It might be the only time in the day or week that is a quiet time to reflect or not have to think about anything other than moving the body.
It is important to get exercise into the weekly routine and it can be hard to find ways to make exercise more enjoyable. It can be a mind game to be convinced to go out for a walk during a cold day or go to a fitness class that is early in the morning. There have been many strategies discovered to help beginners into the habit of routine exercise. Music might just be the missing element to a more pleasant and active lifestyle.