Many people listen to music every day. From your commute to work in the car to your daily workout at the gym, tunes are always playing in some form or another. The music we listen to can have some surprising benefits that can affect you both physically and mentally.
Extra gym motivation
Exercise playlists can be essential to staying focused at the gym and getting a total body workout. Not only are the lyrics inspirational, but the Journal of Applied Science states that music can help boost workout motivation, enhance endurance and assist people in running faster. The power of distraction, from paying attention to the lyrics or music of a song, helps athletes not realize the extra effort they’ve put forward during their workouts, allowing them to run an extra mile or do a few more squats. Additionally, stationary bicyclists were found to have worked harder during a workout when the music is fast-paced and matches the rhythm of the cycling.
Reduced food consumption
A study completed in the psychiatry department at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine found that those who listened to soft, calming music while eating under dimmed lighting ate slower and allowed the food they had eaten to digest more slowly. This meant that the participants ended up consuming less and became more mindful of the fullness cues within their bodies. This method combined with a finely tuned workout playlist could help you lose that extra holiday weight that’s stuck around.
Improve mental acuity
Researchers have been studying the effects of listening to music while performing cognitive tasks for many years now and multiple studies have found that background music has some positive benefits on the results of these tasks. One study from Middlesex University found that the music allowed test takers to finish more questions in the allotted time and they subsequently got more of the answers right. Recent studies have fine-tuned this theory by suggesting that the music must first improve the test taker’s emotional state, rather than simply playing any nondescript music in the background.
A study completed at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle, Washington found that listening to music can have a similar effect on someone’s anxiety as getting a massage to relieve stress. Over a course of 12 weeks, participants were subjected to a variety of relaxing techniques to reduce stress, including massage, thermotherapy and music, to see which would reduce depressive symptoms that were caused by anxiety. The results concluded that massage was not a superior method of relieving the aforementioned stress and that all methods had shown clinically important improvements. So the next time you’re not able to get to a masseuse, try turning on some relaxing music.
Enhanced quality of sleep
According to a study done at the Semmelweis University Institute of Behavioral Science, listening to classical music for 45 minutes at bed time improved the sleep quality of the participants tested, including the reduction of anxiety and depressive moods among insomnia sufferers. Audiobooks were also tested during the study and were not found to have the same positive effects as those who had listened to music. When it comes to sleep, skip the audio book and go with Brahms instead.
Whether you prefer rock, classical or pop, any kind of music can have some serious positive benefits on your everyday life.