The Role of Music
By Allison Hoit
There are certain days where motivation to exercise is not an issue, and I can barely wait to get in the gym or outside! On the other hand, some days this is just not the case, but what always gets me through is my music. Whether you are a regular or novice to the exercise world, exploring the role of music in your physical activity routine just might keep you on track or even push you to go that extra mile! While the impact of music on exercise motivation is subjective and contingent upon the experiences and preferences of the listener, research has shown that music used at the right tempo during exercise can increase motivation and reduce perceived exertion.
A pioneer on this subject, Costas Karageorghis, Ph.D., has dedicated over 20 years of research looking into the effects of music on exercise, sport and other physical activity environments¹. His research, combined with that of others, has determined a conceptual framework of four main factors that describe the effect music has on exercise motivation and adherence. These factors and their motivational qualities are explained below, listed in the order of importance for two main benefits: increased exercise adherence and the use of music as an effective pre-performance routine¹. The beneficial effects derived from these four factors that translate to a motivational impact are increased arousal, reduced rate of perceived exertion, and improved mood¹.