If completing a one-mile run on the treadmill or a 10-minute living room workout is a struggle, there’s a simple way to help push past the finish line: Listen to music.
During exercise, music motivates people to put more effort into it and helps them exercise for a longer period of time, according to a study presented recently at a session for the American College of Cardiology. That makes music a key part of improving heart health, the study’s lead author, Dr. Waseem Shami, said.
“Music has shown to increase exercise capacity in a smaller group of patients, which gives some evidence that music can be a key resource in a stress-testing lab and during regular exercise,” said Shami, who is currently a Rutgers University fellow at the Robert Woods Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The randomized study monitored 127 patients, ranging in age from 20 to 70, as they ran on a treadmill. While half the patients listened to upbeat Latin music during the routine electrocardiogram stress test, the other half didn’t, yet all participants wore headphones. Every three minutes, the angle and speed of the treadmill would increase.
Researchers, sifting through scores of medical data of each participant, found that the group who were fortunate enough to be accompanied by music worked out nearly 51 seconds longer than the group exercising in silence.