The groups completed a 30-minute computer-based cognitive test that put them in a mentally fatigued state before completing high-intensity exercise. Researchers tested the runners both with and without self-selected motivational music after assisting the participants with a pre-test questionnaire that asked them to rate the rhythm, style, melody, tempo, sound and beat of the music.
Songs included Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” Kanye West’s “Power” and Queens of the Strong Age’s “No One Knows.”
The researchers found the interval running capacity among the mentally fatigued fitness enthusiasts was greater with music compared to without music. It was the same as when the participants were not mentally fatigued.
The 3-mile time trial performances also showed small improvements with self-selected music versus no music.
The positive effects of music could potentially be due to altered perception of effort when listening to tunes, researchers said. This presents an opportunity for further study on how listening to music while running affects other groups of people, as well as in different exercise challenges. Research is ongoing at the University of Edinburgh.
“The findings indicate that listening to self-selected motivational music may be a useful strategy to help active people improve their endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued,” Phillips said in a university news release. “This positive impact of self-selected music could help people to better maintain the quality and beneficial impact of their exercise sessions.”
The study was published online recently in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise.
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SOURCE: University of Edinburgh, news release, June 22, 2021