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  • Writer's pictureAnatomy Of Fitness

What is the Relationship between MUSIC and EXERCISE?

Updated: Dec 4, 2021

Music has been worshipped since ancient times by several civilisations and empires. It shares a strong relation with religion, spirituality, and therapy. Our heartbeats and footsteps are rhythmic, the chirping of birds is melodious. Synchronisation, rhythm, and scale are by nature imbibed in us. Indeed, the fabric of nature has music woven into it. There would not be a single person who does not like music. Although music is a performing art, music theory is pure science and highly mathematical. Some rules define melody, rhythm, and scale. Many people like to listen to music while exercising. Studies show that music helps us perform better. Let us probe the relationship between music and exercise, how music affects exercise and if music accelerates recovering from exercise fatigue.


Music can influence mood – make us happy, sad, aggressive, cheerful, motivated, romantic etc. Whether working out at the gym or practising Yoga, people enjoy listening to music while exercising or training. There are plenty of examples of professional and recreational athletes setting personal best records when listening to their favourite music. In addition, several studies have shown a positive impact on training. Music creates a psychological advantage to combat the side effects of exercise and training.

Music can influence some bodily functions like heart rate, breathing, blood pressure etc., acting as an ergogenic aid to help physical performance. For example, with an increase in the heart rate, we feel alert and ready for action, which is extremely useful for a powerlifter. On the other hand, with a decrease in the same, we feel calm, particularly useful for a yogic asana.

Several studies have proved that music allows us to disassociate from fatigue, a side effect of exercising temporarily. This study demonstrated a significant increase in performance during explosive exercises and an altered mood state when listening to self-selected music. Another study showed that 89% of weightlifters believed music increased their quality of training. So, turning up the music before attempting the next personal record will certainly help!

Undoubtedly, music and exercise share an intimate relationship in which music helps increase exercise performance.

What are the EFFECTS of MUSIC on EXERCISE?

#1 Arousal Regulation:

Music creates a positive mood before and during exercise. It helps increase confidence and makes training more enjoyable. Music can help us in revving up or calming down. For example, loud and pumping music may help rev up before powerlifting or boxing. Slow, soulful music will calm us down and lower the heart rate in preparation for Yoga.

#2 Effects of Disassociation:

Research has proved that music can temporarily lower discomfort and pain caused by fatigue and lactic acid build-up. In addition, music can distract us and lower our perception of effort. This effect helps increase performance when mentally or physically tired.

#3 Synchronisation:

Whether we are eating, jogging, or lifting weights, our body automatically tries to match the pace of the activity to the tempo of the music. For example, one study on cyclists showed that cyclists consume 7% less oxygen when the music's rhythm matches their pace than those who listen to music that does not match their pace.

Thus, music has a lot of positive effects on exercise and helps increase exercise performance.


Music also helps to recover and recuperate from fatigue caused by exercise or training. For example, a 2008 study found that athletes listening to relaxing music after exercise helped decrease the heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, and urinary protein compared to athletes who did not listen to music after exercising.

Indeed, music helps recover from exercise fatigue.

Key takeaways:

  1. The fabric of nature has music woven into it.

  2. Music helps with all types and forms of exercises like running, swimming, weightlifting, Yoga etc.

  3. Music helps to lower the sensation of pain and fatigue.

  4. Several studies indicate music has positive effects on mental & physical health and fitness.

  5. Listening to music before, during and after exercise/ training/ competition helps.

We hope the article helped understand the relationship music shares with exercise.

#music#exercise#training#musicandexercise #workoutplaylist #workoutmotivation

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