which takes place at the end of this month, we thought that an article on the benefits of music in physical activity was more than in order! If it is often said that it softens morals, music also has an active power over our physical capacity, our concentration, our determination, our pain… Even science says so! Indeed, studies carried out on this subject show it: listening to motivating music to play sports helps! Still not convinced? Read this article first, and you will see for yourself!
Motivating music to exercise more effectively
You have surely already realized the place of music in sport. But yes, think a little… Have you ever seen footballers getting out of the bus, focused and wearing headphones? Or an entire stadium singing a hymn before the match? Or an athlete who asks the public to clap their hands in rhythm? Or also a rhythmic gymnastics class, accompanied by fitness music ? And you, surely you never run without your favorite sports playlist ?
This is nothing out of the ordinary! Indeed, music acts on our whole body and not only on our auditory system. Moreover, several scientific studies that we will discuss just after demonstrate that music can positively impact sports performance. It reduces the feelings of discomfort linked to effort and increases tolerance, helps with concentration and mental preparation, and even goes so far as to influence the heart rate! Before, during, after sport… Music is a partner, even a real sports trainer, for beginners or confirmed!
Studies conducted on sports performance in music
During one of them conducted at Brunel University in England, researchers proved the benefits of music on the performance of runners , by studying those of 20 20-year-old men running the 400 meter sprint. Other studies have come to reinforce the hypothesis of these researchers: it is above all the rhythm of the music that influences the result. Performed against a background of fast sounds, sport in music encourages movement, a bit like a stimulant!
Another study was conducted in 1991 ( The effects of types and intensities of background music on treadmill endurance , Copland, Frank, 1991). Two American researchers demonstrated the effectiveness of soft music in reducing the excitation of the subject (physically and mentally) during a phase of hyper intense effort, while allowing the improvement of resistance. Used in yoga to hold extreme poses, or before an important match to stay on course, slow music calms the mind, that’s for sure!
We should also mention a study carried out in 1999 in England ( The effects of slow- and fast-rhythm classical music on progressive cycling to voluntary exhaustion , A. Szabo, A. Small, M. Leigh, 1999). About twenty mixed candidates carried out a stress test on a bicycle. Switching from slow to fast music has been observed to help sustain the crescendo effort . The participants had, thanks to the broadcast rhythm, a more sustained heart rate during this effort.
Sounds can become a real sports coach
Modern studies based on human psychology have demonstrated the positive effects of music on the brain. For example, that of Professor Mills carried out on hundreds of college students in the United States in 1996 ( Effects of music on assertive behavior during exercise by middle-school-age students , Mills BD, 1996) analyzed an increase in physical abilities in the group performing physical exercises to rhythmic music. In 2000, a Japanese study was also able to demonstrate the reduction of fatigue with music. The subjects were in better shape and coordinated their movements better. In summary, our mind is not at all insensitive to the sounds and melodies that punctuate our activities or our tasks!
Thanks to the sound diffused in the ears, our brain manages to better exercise its power of visualization. If a runner is running a marathon and becomes demotivated with negative thoughts, he will be overtaken by everyone else. The infernal circle of reproaches will begin, and his race will go from bad to worse! Unconsciously, he has just mentally programmed his own defeat! Another runner who was also struggling, but was listening to music in his headphones and tried to focus only on the rhythm, managed to get past his “slack” moment!
All the research carried out on this subject is unanimous: sport in music becomes optimal! Thus, the FFA (French Athletics Federation) has completely banned listening to music during competitive sport. She considers it as a support influencing the results of the athletes and therefore being able to distort them!
Music for sport and everyday life has an effect on the mind
If calm music calms us down and relaxes us, it would be because it releases endorphins, a real painkiller secreted by the brain that soothes, but also boosts the individual. A catchy and “pulsating” music would help us forget the pain, and allow us to better hold the effort over time. If we use a song for sports, we can forget to concentrate on humming it when we know it by heart! Attention then drops, with the risks that entails!
Music acts on the nervous system and reduces tension by lowering the level of cortisol, this hormone responsible for stress in particular. Listening to music would improve good humor and liveliness. Thus, putting your favorite songs on free time or relaxation (shower, nap, lunch , transport, etc.) could be a good way to “recharge the batteries”.
To finish convincing you of the power of music, do you know music therapy? Born in the sixties in North America, she uses music and its characteristics (melody, rhythm, harmony, sound) as a means of beneficial communication on the mental, physical and emotional health of the patient. Music has always had an important place in human life, and music therapy has made it a way of “healing”. In short, music and its powers have not finished surprising us and taking us ever further!
If you weren’t used to using motivational music for sports , this article has certainly convinced you! It’s time to select sports songs and have the right music to stay active! Your sports training will only be better and you will feel stronger. Many listening platforms offer hundreds of motivating playlists for free. Improving your sports performance while doing good for your morale has never been so close at hand!