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.