iPod May Jam Off the Pounds

Music makes a great motivator to exercise, study shows

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on October 27, 2005
From the WebMD Archives

Oct. 18, 2005 -- Got some extra weight to lose? You probably already know that you need to upgrade your eating habits and get more exercise.

But did you know that your iPod (or portable CD, radio, MP3, or cassette player) could help?

Listening to music while you work out may boost weight loss and help you stick to a fitness plan, a new study shows.

The results were presented in Vancouver, Canada, at the North American Association for the Study of Obesity's annual scientific meeting.

Crank Up the Tunes

The small study included 41 overweight or obese women. Here's what they committed to do for 24 weeks:

  • Diet and write down daily calorie intake
  • Get aerobic exercise (walking at least three times weekly)
  • Participate in weekly group sessions designed to promote lifestyle change

The researchers randomly gave some of the women portable CD players and told them to listen to their choice of music while they walked. The other women walked without listening to music.

Musical Motivator

All participants lost weight. Weight loss and reduction in body fat were greater for those who listened to music while they walked.

Women in the music group were also more likely to follow the strict exercise schedule and to complete the study, write researcher Christopher Capuano, PhD, and colleagues.

Capuano directs the school of psychology at Farleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, N.J.

"Exercising can be difficult for someone who is obese," says Capuano in a news release.

"Walking to music seemed to really motivate the women in our study to get out there and stick with the commitment they made," he continues.

Stay Safe

If you wear a headset while you exercise, be sure to do so safely.

For instance, some safety experts recommend not wearing headsets when you run or walk outside, since you might not hear traffic or a potential attacker.

Don't turn the volume up too high, either, for your hearing's sake.

Show Sources

SOURCES: North American Association for the Study of Obesity, Vancouver, Canada, Oct. 15-19, 2005. News release, North American Association for the Study of Obesity. University of Kentucky Police Department: "Crime Prevention and Security Tips -- Safety Tips for Runners and Joggers." City of Bothell, Wash.: "Safety Tips for Runners and Walkers."

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