Study: Making music while exercising boosts workout

Posted on: October 24, 2013

In Wednesday’s (10/23) New York Times, health columnist Gretchen Reynolds writes, “Making music—and not just listening to it—while exercising makes the exercise easier, a remarkable new experiment finds…. For [the] new study, which was published online last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognition and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, and other institutions began by inventing an electronic kit that could be integrated into the internal workings of weight-training machines, transforming them into oversize boom boxes.… ‘Participants [in the study] could express themselves on the machines by, for instance, modulating rhythms and creating melodies,’ said [researcher] Thomas Hans Fritz…. [Other participants] used the same machines, but minus the musical add-ons…. The results showed that most of the volunteers had generated significantly greater muscular force while working at the musically equipped machines than the unmodified ones. They also had used less oxygen to generate that force and reported that their exertions had felt less strenuous. … ‘We think that the observed effects are most probably due to a greater degree of emotional motor control,’ when you actively engage in making music, Dr. Fritz said.”

Posted October 24, 2013