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The impact of music on exercise

Don’t ditch your headphones when you lift weights. The zone is real and music will help you get there.

There are a few studies that support the benefits of music on exercise tolerance. The latest study was recently presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th conference. The study conducted by scientists in Texas suggests music during a standard cardiac stress test can help extend the time someone is able to perform the test, yielding important information about an individual’s heart health and capacity for exercise.

According to Waseem Shami, lead author and researcher at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences, the study was the first to evaluate the impact of music on exercise tolerance during cardiac stress testing widely used to measure the impact of exercise on the heart. Participants in the study who listened to music during the test were able to exercise for almost one minute longer than those who didn’t have tunes playing in their ears.

“This study provides some evidence that music may help serve as an extra tool to help motivate someone to exercise more, which is critical to heart health,” said Shami. Listening to upbeat music may help prolong activity and participation and the results of the new study may have broader implications for exercise in general. “Our findings reinforce the idea that upbeat music has a synergistic effect in terms of making you want to exercise longer and stick with a daily exercise routine,” Shami added.

Cardiac stress tests help doctors evaluate a person’s fitness level or readiness to start an exercise programme, measure heart rate and blood pressure responses to exercise, assess symptoms of chest pain or heart rhythm changes during exercise, and help diagnose blockages in the heart’s arteries. These tests are often done on a treadmill or stationary bike, while a person has electrodes placed on their chest to record the heart’s activity.

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