Upbeat Music Boosts Exercise Intensity
Music Tempo Alters Your Workout
Oct. 17, 2003 -- Tuning into your favorite fast-paced tunes at
the gym may be a sound way to jumpstart your workout.
New research now shows what many Walkman enthusiasts have known
for years: listening to upbeat music during exercise can increase the intensity
and speed of your workout.
Despite music's popularity at the gym, researchers say few
studies have looked at how different types of music affect how intensely people
Faster Music, Faster Feet
In this study, researchers examined how listening to different
music tempos changed exercise intensity and performance.
Healthy volunteers pedaled a stationary bicycle for 60 minutes
while listening to prepared audiotapes with music of varying tempo (no tempo,
slow, medium, or fast tempo). The cyclists were free to change gears, and the
only instructions given were to ride as they felt.
The study showed that pedaling cadence (speed) increased as the
tempo of the music increased, ranging from 76 rpm to 84 rpm (no tempo to fast
tempo). The heart rate and power output of the cyclists also varied according
to the music's tempo and increased as the tempo quickened.
The results of the study were presented this week at the annual
meeting of the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary
Rehabilitation in Kansas City, Mo.
Researchers say the findings show that musical tempo has a
small, but significant impact on spontaneous exercise intensity.