Why Your Favorite Playlist Is Your Best Workout Buddy.

Posted by Beth Hartman

Now we know that listening to your favorite tunes while you’re exercising isn’t really anything new. But some studies on the subject have shown that getting into your playlist as you push yourself makes achieving your rep-goals a little easier.

Research consistently finds that listening to music distracts athletes from their “bodily awareness” (read: pain). And a recent study found that not just listening, but controlling and creating music in time to one’s pace had an even more pronounced effect on the amount of effort you’re putting forth during a workout.

Music tends to distract your mind from the strain your putting on your body to achieve your exercise routine goals. While the study did suggest there’s more to it than just distraction, working out with music did make them less aware of their exertion. Such a distraction can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 percent. The faster the better, according to WebMD. Upbeat tunes send more information for our brains to process, which takes your mind off of that side stitch. Some call it a “Zonal Effect” As such as the music increases in tempo, you tend to exert more during your routines. This is especially noticeable when tracking results on those using a treadmill or cycling machine. But, keeping in mind that too fast of a pace is also not as beneficial to you either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.

Everyone has that "Go To" song that gets you “in the zone,” and there’s science to why it works. We associate certain songs with memories, often relating to the context in which we originally heard them, such as the first time you watched Rocky or even Star Wars. Channeling that memory, or even just the emotion of your favorite singer belting out that song boosts the motivational power of the song your listening to and has been shown to improve physical performance.

The rhythm of your workout music stimulates the motor area of the brain as to when to move, thereby aiding self-paced exercises such as running or lifting weights. Clueing into these beat-time signals helps us use our energy more efficiently, since keeping a steady pace is easier on our bodies than fluctuating throughout a sweat session.

Its been shown that you really can’t stop the beat sequence that takes place during those songs that get you moving. Researchers found that when music possesses “high- stimulating” qualities, the brain gets excited and induces movement in the listener. Basically, your playlist has the ability to make you move, no matter how much you’re dreading that workout.

Now to see where I’m going with this, for a time now, a lot of people have been waiting for Garmin to come out with a better way to listen to music, stored, from their smartwatches. The Garmin Forerunner 645 Smart Watch  Is that watch! Since it now pairs well with Bluetooth headphones you can now train without your phone strapped to your arm and still listen to your favorite tunes. With its storage capacity of keeping about 500 songs right in your smartwatch, you can power yourself through any exercise session, or get outside on the trail, where there might not be great receptions to stream your favorite tunes.

Music aside, it’s still a jam-packed fitness watch. It has built-in GPS and GLONASS and wrist-based heart rate sensors. It tracks running, cycling, swimming, with a few of Garmin’s more advanced training features (like training load and anaerobic training effect) worked into the software.

It’s also nicer-looking than Forerunners past. It has a stainless steel metal bezel, a glass face, and an always-on display. Garmin claims its battery life with last up to seven days with normal usage and up to five hours in GPS mode.

And it will work with Garmin Pay, the company’s recently rolled-out NFC tap-to-pay feature, which only works on one other Garmin watch, the Vivoactive 3.

So what are you waiting for? With January just about ending, get yourself that incentive present and start listening to the music that will get you moving and placing yourself in the zone that helps you to hit your goal, each and every time. So go ahead and pick up that Garmin Forerunner 645 Smart Watch and turn up the tempo by listening to your favorite tunes, and “Beat Yesterday” just like their slogan says!

So, next time I see you moving with that look of concentration and contentment on your face, I’ll know your zoning while pushing through your workout. Just like I’ll be jamming through mine!

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