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Get more from your workouts: Just add music!

Do you hear the siren song of coffee and a donut 10 minutes into your morning workout? Does your energy fizzle halfway through your 30-minute power walk? Just add music (and skip the donut!). New research shows that up-tempo music can bolster exercise endurance and motivation. During treadmill stress tests, which measure how heart rate and blood pressure respond to exercise and are used to help diagnose heart problems, the speed and incline of the treadmill are increased every three minutes, and by the end it’s extremely challenging. In this study, while participants did the stress test, half listened to upbeat music and half did not listen to any music. Those listening to music lasted significantly longer than those without music. An earlier study found that upbeat music improves exercise endurance by 15 percent, while also buoying mood. How does music work its magic? We know that music can signal the release of brain chemicals that boost mood and energy, and that may be all it takes to help you go the extra mile — or the first mile! Be sure to find up-tempo music you truly enjoy, and then strap on your headphones and go.

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