Trying to get back into your pre-pandemic workout routine? You’re not alone.

A recent study found that 61% of adults gained unexpected weight in the last year due to stress, gym closures, and changing routines. And the longer you’re away from exercise, the harder it can feel to get back into your routine.

So what’s the easiest way to get yourself back in motion? The answer might be as simple as your workout playlist.

Adding music to a workout, walk, or exercise routine can help you keep pace, distract your mind from exhaustion, and elevate your mood for the rest of the day. Even better, workout music can help get you in the mood to exercise when you’re not really feeling it, which your body will be grateful for.

Here are all the ways music affects your workout and can help you power through your newest exercise goals.

1. Music Gets You “In The Zone”

We all have that one song that makes us feel like we can climb a mountain (or just the stairs) even when we don’t want to.

That’s because your brain associates certain songs with strong memories and emotions — like the first time you heard a great song on the radio or in the soundtrack of a movie.

When this happens, we automatically become more motivated and focused. Maybe one of the most famous examples of this is the song “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky.

Studies have even shown that listening to music during a workout can improve your performance during an exercise or physical activity. So just like Rocky, you can achieve new feats and hit new milestones in your workout!

2. Music Elevates Your Mood

When you crank up a song you love in the car or while cooking, it makes whatever activity you’re doing feel that much better. Music has a way of getting into your body and improving your mood.

Research shows that listening to music can help you understand your feelings and even work through tough situations. And when you’re more aware of your body, you’ll find it easier to exercise or just for a walk after a long day at work to unwind.

There’s also evidence that people who listen to music while they exercise produce more serotonin, also known as the “feel-good” hormone. It’s no wonder you feel better when you put your music on during a workout!

3. Music Helps You Keep Pace

It can be hard to keep your pace while running or exercising, especially if you’re tired or haven’t exercised in a while.

When you get tired, you slow down. And this can diminish the impact of your workout.

120 BPM songs (beats per minute) give you momentum and create what’s called a “rhythm response” in your body. This helps you synchronize your movements to the beat like a metronome.

The same goes for performing more relaxing physical activity, like yoga and stretching. Songs with smaller BPM can keep you in the flow of a pose and help you coordinate your breathing. is a great tool to help you match your music to your run to keep you at your desired running pace. Spotify also makes workout playlists with upbeat songs to keep you moving.

Turn up the music and stay active at home with these creative activities >

4. Music Increases Endurance

It’s not always easy to push yourself past the first wall of fatigue, especially if you’re reintroducing exercise after a long period of time.

Music helps you keep going even if you get tired. Studies show that motivational music (quick tempo, inspirational lyrics) helps increase endurance during a workout by 15%.

“Music is like a legal drug for athletes,” says London Brunel University’s Costas Karageorghis. Through research, the institute has identified 3 effects of music on exercise performance:

  1. Moving in time with synchronous sounds (ex. running to a rhythm)
  2. Increased desire to move instead of sit
  3. Distraction from the discomfort related to strenuous exercise

With the right workout music, you might find yourself running that extra mile or continuing a difficult exercise longer than you would have just to finish the great song you’re listening to.

5. Music Distracts You

While exercising is good for your health, it can also cause discomfort and fatigue if you’re out of practice. Listening to music while exercising helps distract you from your body pain and allows you to enjoy what you’re listening to.

Upbeat music (120-140BPM) also has more information for your brain to process, like tempo and lyrics, so it will automatically take your mind off any sore muscles.

You might even find yourself enjoying the workout so much that you keep pushing past the pain until you hit that “runner’s high” of endorphins.

You’ll also notice your body shift into a state of flow — you feel focused and totally immersed in what you’re doing. Artists and athletes can experience this phenomenon, which allows you to breeze through the activity you’re focused on.

Stay Active at Home This Year

It’s important to stay active for your health and wellbeing. Exercising with music can help keep you get moving and have fun during workouts as you ease yourself back into physical activity.

At the gym, on a run around the neighborhood, or just listening to some tunes while you dance around the house — a good beat while moving can improve your health and mood daily.

Even if your gym isn’t open just yet, you can still find ways to stay active at home. You can turn your home office into an exercise studio with desk pushups, walking during your meetings, and finding ways to get moving.

Bring more activity into your workday with these simple exercises >

Comments are closed.