Music can improve your workout’s efficiency, suggests findings from Brunel University in Britain, reported by Live Science.

According to lab research by Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist, four factors contribute to a song’s motivational qualities—rhythm response, musicality, cultural impact and association.

The musicality is a song’s melody and harmony. Theses two aspects are considered internal factors. Meanwhile, external factors include cultural impact and the association the listener makes with the music. A person’s musical background and tastes influence these external factors.

The rhythm response is linked to the beats per minute (bpm) of the song and how it matches either the cadence or heartbeat of the runner.

For the study, 30 participants synchronized their exercise pace to music with a 125 bpm. Participants showed a 15 percent endurance improvement compared with those who exercised with no music.

“The synchronous application of music resulted in much higher endurance while the motivational qualities of the music impacted significantly on the interpretation of fatigue symptoms right up to the point if voluntary exhaustion,” Karageorghis said.

Previous studies also showed 7 percent less oxygen is needed when working out with music. Music also helps block out the voice telling you to quit, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in perceived effort.

Additionally, research from the Liverpool John Moores University suggests that we increase or decrease our work effort and pace to match the tempo of our music. When analysts sped up the music, the distance covered/unit time and pedal cadence increased by 2.1, 3.5 and 0.7 percent among participants. However, slowing the beat produced dips of 3.8, 9.8 and 5.9 percent.

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