Ugh. Not another workout, am I right? The last thing you want to do is walk around the block right now. You’ve got no energy anyways. What’s the point?
That’s a common opinion and contributor to why so many people pass on their workouts. Why get outside for some exercise when you’re tired anyway and the sofa is so comfortable. Cue the high blood pressure.
New research may have discovered a way around your struggle to make almost any activity worthwhile, and perhaps more importantly, easier.
Music. High-tempo music, in particular.
It’s possible that simply pumping your favorite high-tempo songs through your headphones can boost the intensity and efficacy of your workouts without much effort of consciousness.
Researchers found that when well-trained female participants listened to high tempo music (170-190 beats per minute), endurance exercise was easier and more effective. Examples of songs in this range include “Take on Me” by A-Ha, “Rock’n Roll” by Led Zeppelin, and “It’s Like That” by Mariah Carey.
Measuring heart rate and asking about perceived exertion—a common measuring tool in the fitness world—the researchers found that up-tempo music both boosted heart rate and lowered levels perceived levels of exertion.
Basically, the participants’ bodies were working harder but it felt much easier.
So, if you’re sitting at home feeling a little too tired for a walk, or feel like you don’t have the energy for it, music can take you out of that funk in an instant.
These effects of high-tempo music on the body may be the result of a couple of factors. One is that repeated movements can sync to the pulse of music beats, called a “feedback/forward loop.”
There is also research to suggest that music can regulate processes that control your cardiovascular system. Heart rate and blood pressure may both respond to the music, enabling the body to generate more energy and blood flow to increase the overall efficiency of a workout.
So, make a playlist your next walk. It will make the time go faster and help you get much more out of it! The cardiovascular benefits can help reduce the risk of heart attack and improve energy levels.