If you’re looking for that extra kick-in-the-seat to get through your treadmill session, give music a try. Not just any music: According to a recent study by Andrea De Giorgio, listening to faster melodies between 170 and 190 beats per minute (BPM) has the greatest impact on increasing people’s heart rate while decreasing their perceived exertion, Associate Professor of Physiological Psychology at the eCampus University in Italy.
During the experiment, people exercised in silence or with slow, medium, or fast music. Overall, the faster the beat, the easier the training. This is vital as research shows that the limiting factor in people’s exercise is usually mental, not physical. “Rhythmic musical patterns make movements easier and create a feedback loop,” says De Giorgio. “In the context of movement, certain music can be strategically selected to evoke physio-psychological responses that lead to better performance, regulate mood and shift attention. Try MIA’s Go Off (170 beats per minute), Coldplay’s Arabesque (172 beats per minute), and Kanye West’s “Follow God” (180 beats per minute).
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