If you’ve ever seen the film Rocky then its famous “Eye Of The Tiger” theme tune will no doubt be whizzing around your head at its mere mention!
And whats-more, if you can sing it out loud, you’ll most likely find your feet and body will move along too. That’s because music is one of our biggest weapons when it comes to energising our bodies and motivating us to get moving!
With that in mind, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about how you can use music to motivate you and your family to get moving more, give your bodies an energy boost before you’ve even started, and keep going!
And the beat goes on…
Besides entertaining you during your workout, the most obvious advantage of music is that it provides you with a regular tempo to match with your stride or pace. It’s no surprise that runners have a favourite playlist, or that aerobics and spinning instructors tend to play a variety of upbeat tunes throughout classes. It’s human nature- we just can’t help but fall into step with the rhythm of the music, so choosing songs with a fast tempo will not only help you keep momentum, but it will encourage you to keep going when your body begins to slow.
Of course, it isn’t just runners and cyclists who can benefit from the beat, walkers can use music to increase momentum or maintain a good pace too – particularly when battling a hill!
Thinking about the song’s length is also a good way of using the music to your advantage. If you are trying to increase your stamina, instead of aiming to run towards a physical target, try to keep running until the end of the song, or set a challenge to run for the length of three songs. The advantage of this is that you’re unlikely to know the exact length of each song, so you could unwittingly be running further and further each time!
Another tip for choosing the perfect playlist is to schedule your most motivational songs towards the end of your workout – giving you that extra energy boost just when you need it! But, don’t end on a high tempo beat you might struggle to keep pace with.
Watch us wreck the mic, psyche
There’s a reason why boxers choose a specific song to play as they head to the ring, or why athletes wear headphones before a big competition – it helps them to prepare psychologically.
As with the Rocky music, songs which you find uplifting will help you prepare mentally before taking on a challenge- and that goes for any form of exercise!
Are you struggling to motivate yourself to walk to the shop instead of drive? Can’t tear the kids away from their screens to get outside? Try blasting some empowering music – you may find you will all have more energy to burn.
Playing a song that you all enjoy will lift everyone’s spirits – it may only last three minutes, but it’s three valuable minutes you can spend together as a family.
There is an argument that having your favourite song on during an activity or workout will delay fatigue as it distracts you from any discomfort. This is especially useful for those who limit themselves by their own self-doubt. If you haven’t exercised in a while and dread the idea of going for jog or bike ride, choose a song that you love and give it a go! You may find your performance is much better than expected- and if it’s not, just try again tomorrow – keep going until you can manage the distance of your first song!
Ooh I wanna dance with somebody
Of course, the most natural way to exercise to music is to dance. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be an organised sport or specific workout activity – anything that gets your heart pounding and warms you up counts.
Dancing is a great way to exercise with the whole family, and even better – you can do it anywhere! So dance around the kitchen before dinner, put on your favourite song at breakfast or dance around a campfire – whatever works for you and yours.
If the kids need a little more encouragement give them the choice of music. Don’t worry if they choose music that’s hard to dance to or a little slow, instead challenge yourselves to hop up and down until the end of the song, or keep a balloon in the air until the music stops.
To remain fit and healthy, adults should be active for around 30 minutes a day – kids for an hour – so coming up with a family friendly playlist of around eight songs is an easy way to fit in activity without much planning! With all the music technology available to us today – we can listen to music anywhere, anytime. So, next time you’re lacking motivation, pump up the volume and absorb the music – you may just need to find the right beat!