Pros and Cons of Working out with Music

Pros and Cons of Working out with Music

Discover Your Happy explains why listening to music during a workout can help, and hinder, your experience.
Music has been a debate with racing, running, working out for awhile now on the pros and cons of music and exercise! It has been said that certain songs can spike your heartrate without increasing your intensity, while it can also help push you through workouts because you get lost in the tunes. In any race or any running path you will more often see runners wearing headphones than not!! I personally love running with music but there has been some debate whether it should be allowed or not. They have even suggested that it can have a negative effect on people from time to time. What do you think?

I have competed in both running, cycling and triathlon events. For those of you who don't know you are not allowed to wear any sort of headphones in a triathlon...I even competed in an Ironman without music. So in my training I did a lot of my long days without music and found it wasn't horrible. However, there were definitely days that I needed the boost of my music to help me through the workout. So...what is the big deal? Here is an bit taken from Runner's World when they asked the question...

What's the big deal about running with music?

Music can sometimes make running feel easier. Studies find that music reduces your perception of how hard you are running by about 10 percent. An external stimulus such as music can actually block some of the internal stimuli trying to reach the brain—such as fatigue-related messages from muscles and organs. When these messages are blocked, this reduces a runner's perception of effort, so you feel like you can run farther, faster. Music also elevates positive aspects of mood such as excitement and happiness, and reduces negative aspects such as tension, fatigue, and confusion, so it can be used pre-performance to get runners into an optimal mind-set. (I think this would have been a real big help in Ironman! :)

One big problem is that listening to music can remove you from the other sounds that running produces, such as breathing and foot strike, which are essential cues. They give you feedback on your effort. Running while listening to music also removes you from the environment you're in, which can be unsafe. You may not hear a car or person behind you. You may not hear thunder in the distance. And in races, it makes you oblivious of other runners and you can't hear the directions being given by officials. Would you ever drive or ride a bicycle with headphones on? Not likely, because doing so reduces awareness and increases reaction time. Those are things we may want working for us. Finally, we believe runners can become dependent on music. Eventually, you can lose a sense of what might be truly motivating to you, such as the energized feeling you get on the run.

So how can runners use music to their best advantage?
The benefits from music tend to occur at low to moderate running intensities. It is best to use on your easy running days. We've also been investigating the synchronous application of music. This is where an athlete consciously ties in his or her stride rate to the rhythm of music. This can actually result in more efficient oxygen use during running. To do synchronous running, you figure out your stride rate for your pace, then find music with beats that are slightly above that stride rate—one or two beats per minute higher than your normal stride rate should do it (; We've also found that the optimal method is generally two sessions with music for one session without. If you use music for every workout, you can become desensitized to it or rely on it in races.

So...there are some different things to think about. I personally always run with music..especially on the treadmill and when I am not running with friends. I like to drown out what I am doing and just get lost in my thoughts and the music. When I cycle, if I do listen to music, I always have the earphone closest to the road out and my music on a lower volume so I can hear things going on around me. I don't swim with music, but many people do and love it!!
We talked about motivation is a huge one for me also! I should have added that to the list...That being said, we have got the question from several people about the music we have on our own here you have some of our favorite songs!!

Jess Perry

All I Every Wanted - The Airborne Toxic Event
Not Your Fault, Kill Your Heroes & Sail - AWOLNATION
One More Night, Payphone, Daylight - Maroon 5 (On a huge Maroon 5 kick right now)
Fergalicious - Fergie
Try, Just Give me a Reason - PINK
Everything is Everything - Pheonix
Beautiful Soul - Jesse McCartney 
Boyfriend - Justin Bieber
Burn it Down, Leave out All the Rest - Linkin Park 
Undisclosed Desires - Muse
I Know What You Did in The Dark - Fall Out Boy
Apologize - One Republic
Lessons in Love - Kaskade featuring Neon Tree
Shoop - Salt-n-Pepa 
Cinema - Barry Benassi (Skillrex Remix)
Thrift Shop - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Keri Cannon
Ok my list is super duper random and honestly I love so many more recent songs but am too lazy to download more. I tend to run with people mostly so I don't think a ton about music and I love doing Pandora when I do so here is the list that gets me through most of my races...

Blah Blah Blah- Kesha 
Blow- Kesha
Drugs or Me- Jimmy Eat World
Faint- Linkin Park
I Like That- Richard Vission & Static Revengers
Just Watch the Fireworks- Jimmy Eat World
Let Go- Frou Frou 
Let's get it Started- Black Eyed Peas
Only One- Yellowcard 
A Place for My Head- Linkin Park
Run- Snow Patrol 
Take it Off- Kesha
Tik Tok- Kesha
Two Points For Honesty- Guster
Sexy Chick- David Guetta

Debbie Tebbs
I am a group fitness instructor and know that I am very motivated by great music. One of my favorite things to do is sit down at the computer and put playlists together for my classes. Obviously the music we play in the fitness rooms are sure to motivate the participants in class. It is no different when I run. Often I run with out music because I am running with my friends chatting up a storm. However, there are many times I find myself either running on the treadmill or I sleep in and run by myself after the kids go to school. I LOVE to mix it up on my playlists. You can find a random list that include everything from Rock to Hip Hop to even some religious songs. Here a few of my recent favorites.

Weekends!!- Skrillex
I'm a Machine- David Guetta
On the Dancefloor David Guetta Feat.
The Cave- Mumford and sons
Wobble- V.I.C.
Pound the Alarm- Nicki Minaj
Swagger Jagger- Cher Lloyd
Don't Wake Me Up- Chris Brown
Boomerang- DJ Felli Fel
Lessons in Love- Kaskade feat Neon Trees
Next to Me-Emeli Sande
Bom Bom- Sam And The Womp
Feel This Moment- Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera
Scream and Shout- & Britney Spears
Daylight- Maroon 5
Beauty And a Beat- Justin Beiber feat. Nicki Minaj
Night Of Your Life- David Guetta feat Jennifer Hudson
Spectrum- Zedd feat. Matthew Koma
Shut It Down- Pitbull feat. Akon

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