By Miranda Massie on July 16, 2019
Music can be a powerful way to heal, soothe, remember and connect. It can also be an effective motivator when it comes to exercise.
For over 40 years, scientists have been studying the impact of music on motivation and exercise. Results show that it can improve physical efficiency, enhance emotional experiences and lower perceived levels of effort.1
In a recent study conducted in partnership with UBC professor Kathleen Martin Ginis and post-doctoral fellow Matthew Stork, researchers discovered both physical and psychological benefits from working out while listening to a soundtrack of motivational music.
- Improved physical performance and power
- A boost in cardiovascular output
- Increased physical intensity and heart rate (our body will alter heart rate to match the rhythm of the music!)
- More positive emotional responses both during and after exercise.
- Increased enjoyment throughout a workout, even when physical exertion is higher
You don’t have to be a pro!
A unique part of this study was that the research subjects were inactive individuals. This means that everyone can benefit from adding music to a workout, not just those who are already physical active or in top-notch shape.2
Choosing the right music is key; if you don’t find the music motivating, it won’t have the beneficial impacts listed above. The researchers recommend choosing music with an upbeat tempo that you connect with personally or emotionally.
- Check out this list of Spotify’s top workout playlists (categorized by genre) or a list of Apple Music’s best workout mixes
- Try the songs used in the research study: Calvin Harris’s “Let’s Go,” Mackelmore’s “Can’t Hold Us” or Linkin Park’s “Bleed it Out”
- Reflect on the eras and genres of music that motivate you to move and put together your own playlist
The next time you want to get active, or even when you’re doing chores like cleaning, consider playing some of your favourite motivational music. It will up your game and your mood.
Photo credit: UBC Thrive
By Guest Contributor on May 5, 2015
Guest contribution by Sasha Tymkiw
There is no shortage of fitness information available; however, sometimes finding accurate information can be a challenge. Recently, the big discussion has been about cardio exercise: is it really necessary to achieve to your goals? How much do you really need to do? The longer, the better? Or shorter intervals? Educating yourself with some fitness basics will help you sort through the noise and take control of your fitness.
When you begin exercising, it’s important to give yourself someplace “to go”, meaning, you need to start with a small amount, and continually add to this in order to keep your body challenged. Starting simply with cardio such as walking or jogging allows us to begin making room in our lives (without being overwhelmed) for exercise. Furthermore, low intensity cardio utilizes fat for fuel, so it’s a perfect option for those looking to start exercising and lose weight.
To help you understand the sequence of cardio progression, I’ve outlined the basic no-frills America College of Sports Medicine’s standards for starting and progressing in a new cardio program. Whatever activity you decide to do, make sure that you are experiencing the difficulty and frequency outlined below.
Note: Measuring Intensity
You will need to increase your intensity as you continue to improve your fitness, and having a basic gage for intensity is necessary to keep yourself on track. The simplest way to monitor intensity is through the talk test. It’s basic: the amount of effort it takes to talk should be your caliber for how hard you are working. How hard you should be working depends on your fitness level.
Talk Test Intensities (simplified for purposes of this article).
Just talk: You can talk without thinking about your breathing. It is comfortable. Intensity can be described as “easy”.
Light Talk: You can reply comfortably to conversation without being winded, but don’t wish to continue on and on. Intensity can be described as “moderate”.
Barely Talk: You can talk for short bursts, but need to take a breath after every few words. Intensity can be described as “vigorous”.
|Goal:||Further fat loss|
|Intensity:||Light Talk-Barely Talk|
Note: At this phase, you can exchange longer duration cardio for shorter, more vigorous ones. Just make sure you supplement the longer session with a 25-minute intense session.
Cardio is great for those looking to lose weight. Keep in mind, however, that the only magic potion for getting to your goals is consistency (sticking to your workout plan), then adjusting your workout to increase its time or difficulty. The most important factor in any workout program, is your fulfillment, regardless of what any fitness article says.
Sasha Tymkiw is a certified Personal Trainer and has been involved in sports (competitive swimming, snowboarding, horseback riding) since childhood, making the natural progression to personal training in her early twenties. With a bachelor of psychology, numerous fitness certifications and years of experience, Sasha views pushing one’s body as an integral part of the human experience. Sasha works both independently as a trainer and teaches around Vancouver, becoming one of the first instructors who offered boot-camp style workouts in East Vancouver. Sasha is sponsored by Garden of Life Protein Powder and competed in her second figure competition in March 2015, promoting a long-term, balanced approach to the sport.