You like listen to music when you go for a jog? Keep this habit, it could be even more beneficial than you think. Indeed, a new study suggests that running while listening to music would be the key to feeling better when mental fatigue is felt. According to this study, the performance of runners who listened to an imposed playlist after completing a demanding thinking task was at the same level as when they were not mentally fatigued.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) used two tests to understand how listening to music affected running performance. The groups performed a cognitive test on a computer for thirty minutes, and were put into a state of mental fatigue before completing strenuous exercise. The researchers helped participants choose motivational songs with a quiz asking them to rate the rhythm, style, melody, tempo, sound, and beat of the music. The runners were tested with and without music.
The positive effects of music on sports performance
The researchers found that running ability among “mentally fatigued” fitness enthusiasts was moderately superior with music. The 5 km time trial performance also showed small improvements with music compared to no music. Researchers claim that the positive effects of music could be due to a altered perception of effort when listening to songs.
“The results indicate thatlisten to music self-selected motivation can be a useful strategy to help active people improve their ability to Endurance course and their performance when mentally fatigued. This positive impact of self-selected music would better maintain the quality and benefits of their exercise sessions, “suggests Dr Shaun Phillips, of the Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh.