Go harder for longer
run to the best: Ever wondered why Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” got Rocky moving? Research published in the Journal Of Sport And Exercise Psychology found that song lyrics and their associations can affect your emotional and physiological arousal, acting as a free and legal stimulant to keep you training harder for longer. So fill your playlists with the tunes that get you going for when the going gets tough.
It’s not just boxers who can benefit from a punchy chorus. A recent study at Brunel University found that participants who cycled in time to music required 7% less oxygen to cover the same distance as those who didn’t, suggesting that music can prolong your performance in the saddle. Just make sure you can still hear the traffic – cycling oblivious to the rest of the road is a recipe for disaster.
Get in the zone
Being “in the zone” may be a sporting cliché, but it seems listening to music can help you get, and stay, focused. A British study involving college netball players found that listening to self-selected music before training significantly improved players’ shooting accuracy, and the researchers theorized that it made them more relaxed so they could perform with fluidity.
Music can be the perfect distraction when you’re running out of steam. A study published in the Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness found that those who ran while listening to music were less susceptible to fatigue than those who ran in silence. So power up your tunes and give yourself a no-effort performance boost next time you train.