Listening to your favourite music when running or playing sports can benefit your performance and mood.
If you think listening to music while working out or playing competitive sports improves your performance and mood, you’re probably right. As many recent studies have suggested, music helps to boost mood and improve sport performance. However, a new study shows that not all music is created equal—your favourite music has the biggest effect.
A recent study divided its 64 participants into three sports: netball, football, and running, and then polled them about their favourite type of music. The participants were assessed in three ways—before and during training, before competitions or races, and with and without their favourite music—and they were scored on perceived motivation, focus, enjoyment, challenge, awareness, and rate of perceived exertion.
Overall, participants who listened to their favourite music were more “in the zone” and also had reduced perceived exertion—that means they didn’t think they were working as hard as they really were.
If you want a more focused and seemingly easier workout the next time you’re at the gym, go ahead and play your favourite songs on your iPod without shame—whether it’s Beethoven, the Beatles, or even the Spice Girls.
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