For many individuals, music serves as a powerful motivator during exercise, especially when the beats are fast and the volume is high. But what is the ideal music genre to elevate your workout and keep your energy soaring? Let’s delve into expert advice on the matter.
Personal Music Preferences for Exercise
Indonesian music therapist Laura Sekar Putri, currently practicing in the United States, believes that everyone can have unique musical preferences for enhancing their mood, reducing stress, and boosting their workout performance.
“Many people use upbeat music while running or hitting the gym. It helps them get pumped up and motivated. Music is indeed incredibly useful for various activities,” she states.
Laura initially discovered the therapeutic potential of music in 2020 when she was battling depression while studying at Berklee College of Music. As she embarked on her journey to recovery, Laura found that music could be a therapeutic tool to alleviate stress. Today, she works as a professional music therapist, including with patients in hospitals.
She emphasizes that it’s entirely normal for individuals to have diverse musical preferences when it comes to managing stress or reducing pain. For instance, one of her patients effectively eased their pain by listening to heavy metal music with its loud and fast-paced rhythms.
“We match the mood, actually. For example, during my internship at a Florida hospital, there was an adult patient who was in pain, like right after surgery, and he liked metal songs,” she explains.
“So, we used it to match his mood. Instead of playing soft songs, we played heavy rock metal that he liked, and it worked,” Laura concludes.
The Power of Music in Exercise
Music’s influence on exercise performance is well-documented. When you listen to music you enjoy during your workout, it can enhance your mood, motivation, and endurance. It distracts you from fatigue, makes repetitive exercises more enjoyable, and even synchronizes your movements.
The ideal music genre for your workout largely depends on your personal preferences, the type of exercise, and your mood at the time. Here are some popular music genres and their effects on workouts:
Upbeat and Fast-Paced Music: This genre, often associated with pop, rock, and electronic dance music (EDM), is fantastic for high-intensity workouts like running, spinning, or weightlifting. The energetic beats keep you motivated and help maintain a quick pace.
Hip-Hop and Rap: These genres feature powerful rhythms and lyrics, making them great choices for intense workouts. They can boost your confidence, enhance your focus, and pump you up for challenging exercises.
Rock and Heavy Metal: If you enjoy rock or metal, their aggressive and dynamic sounds can be particularly motivating for strength training and high-intensity workouts. The driving guitar riffs and pounding drums can help you push through difficult sets.
Electronic and EDM: Electronic music with its repetitive beats is excellent for maintaining a consistent pace during cardio workouts. It can also help you achieve a state of flow during activities like cycling or running.
Classical and Instrumental Music: While not the most common choice, classical music can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, and provide a calming backdrop for activities like yoga, stretching, or meditation-based workouts.
Reggae and Ska: These genres offer a more laid-back and cheerful vibe, making them suitable for low-impact exercises, such as walking or light aerobics. Their rhythmic tunes can keep your spirits high without pushing you too hard.
Ultimately, the right music genre for your workout is the one that resonates with you and elevates your exercise experience. So, whether you prefer heart-pounding rock or pulsating EDM, choose the music that gets you moving and grooving to achieve the best results from your workout