Have you ever forgotten your headphones when going to the gym… sitting in the parking lot with dread, lack of motivation, and the feeling that you cannot get a “good” workout in without them? Studies suggest that music may temporarily distract exercisers from some of the body’s internal cues that are triggered when tired and fatigued, thus allowing a person to workout longer and more intensely.
According to Neuroscientist, Dr. Daniel Levitin, “listening to music while exercising can release endorphins into your brain, which boost mood, dull muscle pain, and make you feel less tired.” In 2007, USA Track & Field banned headphones and portable audio devices at official races. The reasoning for the ban was to protect runners’ safety as well as to ensure no competitive advantage. So the next time you are running on the treadmill while listening to your workout playlist, remember you have a small competitive edge over those next to you who may be watching TV or those without headphones. There are endless websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, motivational speeches, and podcasts that are designed specifically to motivate you and help you to achieve a level of workout that you may have not experienced before!
Other ideas to help keep motivation levels up for your exercise plan are:
- If you are easily bored, change your work out frequently and vary the exercises you do to help avoid redundancy
- Work with a personal trainer who can help design a program that best meets your needs and gives you results
- Update your music selection to something that feels fresh, and that you haven’t heard hundreds of times
- Find a gym that promotes community and friendly competition; having social support and workout buddies to compete with helps motivate you to show up at the gym and perform at your best
- Find a workout plan that you enjoy doing. If you hate using machines and weights, try running outside, joining a sports team, or even picking up a new hobby like golf or landscaping
Remember that everyone goes through a plateau at some point, where your motivation level tops out and you lack the excitement you had when first starting your exercise program. Use the tips above and spend some time finding music that gets you moving both physically and mentally!
Tell us in the comments, what music gets you moving!
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