A Brief Look At Music’s Physiological Effects on Exercise

Five minutes into my cardio this morning, my iPod shuffle’s voice said the dreaded words, “battery low”, and proceeded to die 30 seconds later. THE WORST!

But why is this scenario so dreadful? There’s actually a scientific reason! 🤓

When we’re listening to music that we love:

Our brain activity actually increases in the regions which control movement —> these regions are also responsible for dopaminergic transmission —> (A chemical which causes you to feel happy and motivated)

So, if we listen to music while exercising:

• Dopamine increases
• We experience a distraction from the muscular fatigue which our body is going through
• The amount of effort that we’re putting in FEELS LIKE LESS: A decreased perceived effort.

This means that when we’re listening to music, we feel happy and motivated because of dopamine production. This happiness and motivation distracts us from our physical fatigue (Have you heard the term “mind over matter?”). This is why when we don’t have music to produce dopamine, we can physically FEEL how hard we’re working, resulting in greater realization of fatigue, potentially decreasing performance.

Don’t forget to charge your iPods tonight my friends!

Mikaila 🙂

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