Running with music has become so common that the two biggest names in both industries, Nike and Apple, have been joined at the hip with the Nike+iPod combination. So, what is it about music and running, or any exercise, that feels so right?
Several recent studies try to chase down the connection between our ears and our feet.
A sports psychologist at Britain’s Brunel University has helped create a half marathon in London that tries to find the perfect music mix of live bands based on his research of human reaction to rhythm.
From his research, there are four factors that contribute to a song’s motivational qualities: rhythm response, musicality, cultural impact and association.
The first two are known as "internal" factors as they relate to the music’s structure while the second two are "external" factors that reflect how we interpret the music. A song’s structure such as its melody and harmony contribute to its musicality. The external factors consider our musical background and the preferences we have for a certain genre of music and what we have learned to associate with certain songs and artists.
Picking the right music can have several benefits. Syncing beats per minute with an exercise pace increases your efficiency. In the current study, published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 30 subjects synchronized their pace to the tempo of the music which was 125 bpm. Before the experiment, a pool of music was rated using a questionnaire tool (the Brunel Music Rating Inventory) which then selected the most motivational pieces for the treadmill test. The subjects were given a choice of either pop or rock music. With the right mix, your brain and feet will be in perfect harmony.
You can see the detailed news here: Music Benefits Exercise, Studies Show.
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