Published on February 21st, 2018 | by Alan Cross0
Exercising to music “bends your mind”
If you engage in any kind of exercise, I’m going to guess that you do it to music.
Look around. Joggers with earbuds. Gym rats with headphones. Exercise classes to thumpin’ rhythms.
Music is definitely an exercise motivator and enhancer. But why? What are the neurological reasons for this? Scientists are actually kinda stumped as to what music does to the brain in ways that benefit exercise. Now, though, there are some clues. Tom points us to this article at Medical Express:
[R]esearchers have used portable electroencephalogram (EEG) monitoring with interference shielding technology to measure three types of brainwaves during exercise. This lets them compare the brain’s electrical feedback while exercising outdoors to music, a podcast, or no soundtrack at all.
They found music rearranges the brain’s electrical frequency, causing a drop in focus but enhancing enjoyment 28% more than silence and 13% more than a podcast.
Music distracted the walkers’ focus, but boosted their energy levels and enjoyment more than the TED podcast and not listening to anything. The podcast didn’t affect the walkers’ perceptual responses, such as how tired they felt, or their affective responses, such as how happy they felt. But it made them enjoy walking more than without a soundtrack. The study says the brain mechanisms behind these effects appear to be linked to a boost in beta frequencies in the frontal and frontal-central regions of the cortex.
“We showed that music has the potential to increase beta waves and elicit a more positive emotional state,” said Bigliassi. “This can be capitalised upon during other forms of exercise and render a given activity more pleasurable. People who struggle to engage in physical activity programmes should select appropriate pieces of music to exercise and see The Way It Makes You Feel.”