If you're like me, you HAVE to have the right tunes to get you moving, feel motivated and continue to push yourself. Every wonder why?
"One thing is certain, the answer lies within our brains, not the muscles we are exercising," states Tom Stafford, a psychologist who recently wrote an article on the topic for BBC.
Stafford also says, "several studies have shown that the act of imagining making a movement produces significant strength gains. The benefit isn't a big as if you practiced making the movement for real, but still the benefit of thinking about the movement can account for over half of the benefit of practice."
The signals to move the muscles start in an area of the brain called the motor cortex. Music travels through your ears down your auditory pathways and supplements your brain activity that signals your body when to move.
Music can help the most with paced exercises, where you can control when to act.
Running is a perfect example. For me personally, music makes a huge difference in how I run, the length of my runs and how I feel during and even after a run.
"Once you've realised that a vital part of most sporting performance is not just how fast or how strong you can move, but the effort of deciding when to move, then you can begin to appreciate why music might be so helpful," Stafford said.
My favorite music to listen to while running, is anything with a strong beat, as you'd imagine. Music also helps me "get in the zone" or more practically stated, "zone out" so that I am not listening to myself breathe or thinking about every step.
What is your favorite music that gets you moving?