Music: Enhancing Your Health and Your Workout

By Kerri Whatley and the TLS Team

We all know that exercise is good for the body and the psyche, but here’s something you may not know, listening to music while working out may help your brain.

While studying the effects of exercise for several years, Clinical psychologist Charles Emery of Ohio State University, found what shouldn’t come as a surprise, exercise is good for you in many different ways. Being that he is also a music lover he thought that he would combine the two, exercise and music, and see what happens.

“I’ve always thought that music had many benefits for people, and increasingly people use music when they exercise, so it seemed like a logical next step in terms of a research project,” Emery says. So with the enlisted help of 33 men and women, Emory put his theory to the test. Each participant was in their final week of a cardiac rehabilitation program. They were all then tested to see their mental performance after exercising without music and then with music.

On average, participants preformed nearly twice as well on a verbal fluency test after listening to music while exercising then when they didn’t listen to some tunes.

The results were very convincing. “When there was no music, there was no change,” Emery says.
Listening to music may seem second nature to most, but it more complex than what meets the eye. Music enhances the frontal lobe. The brain has to categories tones, timing, and sequencing of various sounds, to comprehend music. So according to theory, that should jump start the frontal lobe of the brain, the part of the brain that is linked with higher mental functions, like thinking abstract thoughts, or planning for the future.

So what on your workout playlist?