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Music makes us enjoy exercise more

Hate going to the gym? A new study may have found a way to make exercise more fun: put on your favourite tune. 

Researchers reveal that while listening to music during a workout doesn’t increase focus on the task at hand, it does make exercise much more enjoyable. 

  • Study co-author Marcelo Bigliassi, from Brunel University London in the United Kingdom, and his colleagues came to their findings by using electroencephalography (EEG) technology to monitor the brain’s response to music while participants engaged in physical activity. 
  • It’s no secret that music has the ability to elicit emotional responses; research backs up this fact. A song can make us feel happy, sad, angry, empowered, or motivated. The latter is one reason why many of us reach for the headphones when we go for a run. 
  • “The brain mechanisms that underlie the psychological effects of auditory stimuli during physical activity are hitherto under-researched; particularly so in ecologically valid settings,” the study authors note. 
  • Music boosted enjoyment of walking 
  • To address this research gap, the team used EEG to assess how music or a podcast affected the brain during exercise, compared with no auditory stimuli. “The EEG technology facilitated measurement during an ecologically valid outdoor task, so we could finally explore the brain mechanisms that underlie the effects of music during real-life exercise situations,” says Bigliassi. 


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Some food for thought: “I like music that is able to stir my soul. My music is a spiritual exercise.” – A. R. Rahman.


Original article written by: Jasmin Collier 

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