Music Does More than Keep Us Moving

The other day my BFITW (Best Friend in the World) posted on Facebook that she’d joined her local gym – which caused memory synapses to fire in my brain bringing me back to the time we’d been very serious work out partners.  This was years (and years) ago – we worked out together until life brought me a big surprise and I found myself living hundreds and hundreds of miles away – which I have ever since.

These were great memories though – and what came to my mind first was moving to the music “back in the day” – in particular to The Pointer Sisters – even more particular “Neutron Dance”.

I got to thinking about how important music can be when it comes to attaining and sustaining a healthy weight.  Seems to me that music can do three things for us:

  • Motivate Us
  • Enhance Our Mood
  • Set Our Pace

Setting our pace is perhaps the most obvious.  For instance, walking at a pace of 4 miles per hour translates into about 140 steps per minute.  Having music that moves us along at the proper pace just makes sense as it gives us something to measure our pace to.  I think music also causes our bodies to, in a sense, get “lost” in the music and can make our level of effort seem “easier” or less “uncomfortable”.

 

 

The fact that music can motivate us is equally obvious. Think “Rocky”.  Actually, think of the scene in the first movie where Rocky runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art  – but just for a moment imagine that there was no music accompanying that famous run.  Now think of it the same scene with the music – I don’t know about you but just having “Gonna Fly Now” running around in my brain makes me want to stop writing and run up a few flights of stairs – or at least walk up a few flights of stairs really really fast.

The ability of music to enhance our mood is a tool many of us overlook when it comes to weight management. Too often we relegate music’s usefulness when it comes to losing weight (and keeping it off) to our workouts.  But music not only sets our physical pace as well as motivate us to keep that pace up – it can also life our mood, inspire us, reduce our stress, and release our creativity.

Feeling a little down?  Listening to a happy, upbeat song or piece of music reminds us of the joy of living.

Stressed Out?  Listening to certain types of classical music such as Baroque can actually lower your blood pressure – if you don’t like classical there are many other types of music from other cultures and genres that have the same effect – you’ll know it when your hear it.

Uninspired?  I dare you to listen to “Chariots of Fire” from the movie of the same name without coming up with a few good ideas.  Speaking of ideas, just listening to music engages not only our ears – but our imaginations which, in turn, inspires creative thinking.  All of these things are an important component for those of us on the journey to a life-long healthy weight.  How?

The fact that music communicates meaning to us puts us more in touch with why attaining and sustaining a healthy weight is meaningful to us as at a given time – and we all know that successfully attaining and sustaining a life-long healthy weight flows from whatever your  “meaningful why” is at any given time. (If you don’t know this, click this link to learn about the “Fitegic Triology”:  Meaning, Motivation, and Method.)

A few interesting links along these lines:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1919396/whats_the_best_type_of_music_for_stress.html?cat=5

http://www.symptoms-of-stress.com/symptoms-stress-articles/Music-Therapy-Stress.php

http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/sundquist.html (Exercising Pacing and the Use of Music)

http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml (Health and Stress Reduction Benefits of Music, discusses Baroque)

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