Does music help you exercise?

Interesting, and quick, read in the New York Times about the effects of music when you exercise. In short, it helps up to the point of intense (that is full-out, 90%+) effort. Up to that point, the music distracts your busy conscious mind from dwelling on how tired you think you are when you’re running, cycling, training for that triathlon. At full effort, your body demands your brain’s attention and the music doesn’t matter too much.

This is about what I’ve experienced. Long runs, music is great. Intervals and sprints, it’s just noise. How about you?

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2 comments On Does music help you exercise?

  • Interesting, and matches my experience. During long runs or extended aerobic exercise, music helps distract from the boredom. During sprints, I don’t remember noticing the music. The music does help during lifting, in between sets, getting psyched up… but I don’t remember noticing it during the sets…

    • I hear you about the boredom, the tunes do help. I’ve found myself blaring the iPod when on the Stairmaster (even more boring than running). What’s amazing to me is that I can space out and not even hear the music, my brain just goes elsewhere and the audio doesn’t register.

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