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performance-403“How Music Can Fuel Your Emotions…”

In my last article, I shared why some experts call music “an illegal drug for athletes” and described how using music can help you boost performance while making it seem easier.

If you missed that article, just click here.

Today, I’m going to share one of the most important factors when it comes to selecting the right tunes.

As far as workout music is concerned, one song is not necessarily the same as another!

Scientific studies have shown that what helps increase endurance, enhances enjoyment, and improves performance is not the music alone…it’s the emotions that music can stir up in you that matter most.

Think about it…

Right now, name a song that you associate with a happy childhood memory.

I bet that, in addition to naming the song, you can also recall where you were, who you were with, and what you were doing. And I bet just listening to that song instantly stirs up some pretty strong feelings.

And it’s those feelings and emotions that can motivate you and fuel your workout.

Music from a certain era of your life such as high school or college, can be extremely motivating.

So don’t be afraid to dust off those “classic” tunes…

Also, when selecting your music, you don’t always have to go for the nostalgia.

Music that stirs up strong emotions due to the emotional state of the singer can make a huge impact on you as well.

In fact, music can open the mental floodgates to which you control your emotions and it’s those emotions that can fuel your motivation.

So think about what types of songs really move you. It’s different for everyone. You might enjoy pop music or you might be inspired by the driving messages of rap and hip-hop. Or maybe instrumental music like techno and electronica can be what really moves you.

Decide which emotions make you feel most motivated: anger, determination, happiness, sadness, excitement.

And then find the music that kicks those particular emotions into gear.

I personally like a mix of happy tunes like “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves and somewhat combative songs like “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.

If you are an instructor, although it’s important to play music that keeps you motivated, you also need to consider your audience even more when making your music selections.

What is the age group, gender, and disposition of your class members? Play the music that will motivate them if you want a packed class!

And if you’ve got a mixed audience, it’s best to mix up the tunes and provide a little something for everyone.

Make sense?

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Posted on Sep 14, 2013

About the Author

Kim Nishida has been working in the fitness industry for more than two decades and is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Schwinn Spinning, Reebok Cycle, Powerstrike Kickboxing, Keiser Cycling and is formerly the Group Exercise Director at UC Berkeley.

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