health

This will actually make you fitter. No, really.

Believe it or not – listening to music will make you fitter.

 

By NATALIA HAWK

I don’t need to tell you that music is a seriously good addition to any kind of workout. That would be an insult to your intelligence. Anyone who exercises knows that a run/strength workout/anything active is made infinitely better by an iPod with the right mix of tracks loaded onto it.

But here’s something you probably didn’t know about music: it can make you fitter.

And it can cure heart disease.

I KNOW. What is this musical sorcery I speak of?! But it’s true. A new study out of Serbia, of all places, found that listening to music releases endorphins into the brain and subsequently improves the hearts’ health.

They picked 74 people with heart disease and split them into groups. One went to exercise classes, one went to classes AND listened to music for half an hour every day, and one listened to music but didn’t go to classes.

This from the Daily Mail:

The participants were all studied again at the end of the three week period and the researchers discovered that the heart disease patients who had exercised and listened to music improved significantly.

They displayed improvements in heart function and their exercise capacity had increased by an average of 39 per cent.

In contrast, the group that exercised but did not listen to music only saw their exercise capacity  – the maximum amount of physical activity a person can sustain – increase by 29 per cent.

Of course, it was specific that you should listen to music that makes you feel good. So having Total Eclipse of the Heart on repeat is probably not going to help you in your health-related pursuits.

But I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of my favourite songs for workouts – and pick all of your brains for your favourite songs so I can eventually end up with the exercise playlist to beat all exercise playlists.

There are, of course, some really good apps that can save you if you’re really stuck – Podrunner is a good one, and TempoRun is another that syncs the beat of your workout with the tempo of the music in your music library or on Soundcloud.

But sometimes, a girl just wants to have an epic iPod playlist all good to go.

So here are the five songs that never fail to get me through even the most boring of workouts.

1. Massive Attack – Paradise Circus (Zeds Dead Remix)

A little bit slow to start until the beat drops (I’ve always wanted to say that phrase), so it’s really good for a warm-up.

2. Icona Pop – I Love It

I don’t think I will ever get sick of this song. Really.

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3. Deadmau5 – Ghosts n Stuff (Nero Remix)

I stole this from a really cool snowboarding movie and now, every time I listen to it, I feel like I’m starring in a movie of my own. A movie where I’m super fit and can run marathons in 20 minutes. Cough. Cough.

4. Calvin Harris & Nicky Romero – Iron

Another really good one for the middle of your workout. There’s a little break in the middle when it slows down – take advantage of that to stop and have a drink of water.

5. Avicii – Wake Me Up

This one’s a close tie with Avicii’s “I Could Be The One”. Actually, you probably won’t go wrong with anything Avicii-related. Crack these out when you’re really starting to lose steam.

Bonus songs: I asked the entire office for suggestions. I imagine there will be something here to cater for everyone’s tastes, in case you’re not a top-40-techno kind of person…

– Alive, by Empire of the Sun

– Titanium, by David Guetta

– The Power, by Vanessa Amorosi

– Sitting on top of the world, by Delta Goodrem

– Domino, by Jessie J

– Anything from Muse

– Shake it out, Florence and the Machine

– 212, Azealia Banks

– Anything from Beyonce

– Musical soundtracks (Grease and Hairspray, specifically)

– The new Britney song.

What’s on your exercise playlist? Come on people, sharing is caring…

The Athlete’s Foot want you to get out of the house and get involved in the 2013 running season. For the next fourteen weeks, you can Tweet or Instagram a picture/post/video of yourself pounding the pavement with the hashtag #IDIDIT for your chance to win a free fitting and pair of running shoes from The Athlete’s Foot. Oh, and don’t forget to tag @theathletesfootaustralia. Visit the website for more details. Happy running!

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