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New study finds certain music can improve your workout, mental state

What you listen to on your walk or run can impact the benefits of your exercise.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Research shows what’s on your playlist can affect your workout.

“Every Thursday I come out here," said Keyona Dudley. She loves to listen to Cardi B on her walks at the RiverWalk. 

“I’m listening to gospel right now," said Lashawn Toomer. “It really picks me up. It’s my quiet time in the morning with the Lord. It gives me inspiration throughout the day.”

People walk and run to their own beat, but is one better for you?

A study by the University of Edinburgh looked at the effect of music on people’s running performance when they are mentally fatigued.

The 2021 study found listening to a self-selected playlist can help your quality of your exercise and therefore increase the beneficial impact.

“I don’t realize until I get back home that it’s been 7 miles as opposed to the 3 I planned on walking," Toomer said. "So yes it takes your mind off what you’re doing.”

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Previous studies corroborate that. 

A study out of the University of Verona in Italy found high tempo music made exercise seem like less effort. Another study found high tempo music can increase your stamina and put you in a better mood.

“I’m trying to be pumped up," Dudley said. "Get the creative juices going and the sweat going and I am trying to work it out.”

According to these studies, here’s a few tips on picking a work out playlist:

  • Pick the songs yourself. It helps if you like the music. 
  • Choose motivational songs. 
  • Find songs with a high tempo beat that you can synchronize with.

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