Music is the greatest fitness self-defence motivator
We all know the feeling; you’ve finished work and taken a pit stop on the sofa. Just half an hour, one quick episode of whatever it is you’re into on Netflix, then off to the gym, a run, a class, it’s all good, the sofa break will recharge the batteries. Except it doesn’t and that one episode becomes four and before you know it, it’s time for bed.
What if we had a little button we could press for a quick recharge, an injection of motivation to get you to that workout. Well, actually there is, its hitting the play button on your playlist!
Don’t wait until you’re in the gym to put your energy pumping, motivation priming music on, do it as you are kicking your work clothes off and getting into your training gear, or better still, when you are struggling with sticky sofa syndrome!
This is all part of environmental design discussed in a previous article to promote and develop new habits. If you’ve invested a bit of time (covered below) in creating your perfect playlist, then you’ll soon feel a gentle unshackling from the sofa, as your leg begins to twitch and your head starts to nod to the beat.
Music creates a chemical tipping point
all have that song, or if we are lucky, several songs, that bring about a surge of energy that rallies the body to finish a workout stronger. Indeed, that music can provide the desire to move in the first place.Music directly impacts our neurochemistry, the chemicals our brain releases help us to manage ourselves more effectively. Studies have shown that listening to and performing music stimulate our levels of serotonin, epinephrine, dopamine and oxytocin. Most of us are familiar with dopamine, which has two central functions: rhythm and anticipation/pleasure.Everyone has their own musical taste and since music is a personal thing, headphones/earbuds are a definite must, giving you the privacy you need to freely select all manner of cheesiness. Remember, whatever works to motivate you to do the best workout, is right for you.
It’s easier to push a few extra reps, jump a little higher, run a little further when listening to the Rocky soundtrack.
Loud music is motivational but can be a health risk
Music played at a high volume can make all the difference but be careful not to damage your ear drums. The deafblind organisation has some useful advice on protecting your hearing.
Choice of headphones is a tough one. A good set of in-the-ear buds are better for reducing sweaty ear syndrome, but if not the right fit, can fall out or come loose.
Since we are all about safety, it’s worth pointing out that while headphones and earbuds are great for cranking up your favourite tunes in the privacy of your own head, they do make you more vulnerable. If jogging in a secluded place, or it’s late at night, it’s a big no no.
The take away message is around the timing of your music. Use music to activate your desire to train so it becomes a habit. Every time you hear your playlist begin, you’ll be jumping from your sofa into your running shoes!
Just think how much more value you will get out of your monthly gym membership if you use music as a trigger the moment you wake up or leave the office.
At Mu-shin Fitness, music is a big part of our programme. During our face-to-face sessions we make sure we stack the uplifting tunes at the end, so when you are pressure testing your self-defence skills during the circuit phase, your inner warrior is literally chomping at the bit to do its instinctive thing!
Apply the principle of Playlist Power to your training and enjoy those extra brain chemicals that music brings to get you over the line!