Music can be one of the most powerful tools in our weight loss toolbox. Music can help motivate us to start exercising. And music can help us get more out of our efforts once we’ve started exercising.
Gyms and exercise studios are well aware of this. Most of them use playlists that have been specifically chosen to make the most of the power of music. It’s hard to imagine a class at a gym without music! Music can make us move, distract us from our problems, increase our effort, improve our mood and set the pace for our walks. We need to reach into our weight-loss toolbox and grab a hold of music to repair and maintain our health! Find a playlist that is energetic, dynamic and powerful and get your walking boots on!
1. Music makes you move.
Have you ever stopped at a traffic light to find the car next to you swaying as your traffic light neighbours sing and bounce away to the music? If you pay attention to how most people sit while driving you’ll notice people are very sedentary, only moving to steer the car and operate the controls. What changes people from sitting almost as still as a statue to moving so much they can sway a 1500 kg car? You guessed it! Music!
Have you ever been busy with housework when one of your favourite beats comes on the radio? If the song has a strong rhythm, it cause sour blood to pump faster and before you know it we’re bopping and swaying whiles weeping the floor.
Humans are hardwired to physiologically react to music that has a strong beat. Our ears hear the music, our brains send the messages and our arms, hips and booties do the moving!
2. Music provides a healthy distraction.
Busy mums are just that. Busy! We’re busy with the hundreds of tasks required to keep a household going. We’re juggling things that we have to do with the house, cleaning, laundry, cooking, kids, men… and the list just goes on. We all have a long list of things to do and every day something new pops up that gets added to the list.Rarely do we have any “me time”. Music can provide a healthy distraction from the everyday demands that are constantly running through our heads.
Music can provide a healthy distraction from having to think and worry about all of the things that keep us busy. If we put on some headphones when we’re doing a mindless task like cleaning the floor it gives us a chance to calm our minds. Music can provide that mental reprieve that clears our head and leaves us in a much better mental state. A clear head makes it much easier for us to make healthy living choices. Plus, playing music when doing housework is going to liven up our movements and burn more calories. Dancing around to your favourite song while mopping the floor isn’t going to make a noticeable difference to your weight loss, but every little bit helps!
Playing music while walking or exercising can help to distract you from any fatigue you may feel. As busy mums we are often short-changed in the sleep department. It comes with being a mum! Playing music can help distract us from feeling tired and the act of moving in itself will help to provide us with energy. As well, if we’re coming to the end of our walk or if we have a hill to climb, music can provide an excellent distraction to the fatigue we may feel. Music can be a great tool to distract us from constantly thinking about our busy lives and it can distract us from the fatigue we may otherwise give in to.
3. Music can boost your effort.
Studies have confirmed what most of us already know; music can boost the amount of effort we put into exercising. When we exercise to music, our movements tend to move up a notch to keep pace with the beat. And they tend to stay there. When we walk listening to music, the beat sets the pace of the walk. It is hard to walk while listening to music and not have your pace influenced by the beat. We might take one step for each beat or we might take one step for every-other beat, it doesn’t matter. Our minds naturally want to establish some kind of relationship between the beat and our movements. Use music as a tool to lever the most you can out of the time you spend exercising!
4. Music can improve your mood.
The fact that music can improve your mood is another point that’s unlikely to surprise you. Why else would people spend billions of dollars on music every year?
Since ancient times people have used music to improve or modify their mood. Even the ancients recognised the effect music had on people’s moods. Ancient philosophers from Plato to Confucius and the kings of Israel praised the effects of music and used it as a stress reliever. Music is also used by military bands to build confidence and courage. Sporting venues use music to arouse enthusiasm.
Yet even though we know music can improve our mood, we don’t use the tool of music to repair our mood as often as we could. We need to use music more often in our day to day lives to improve our moods.
Our moods can be improved by music and we all know it’s easier to make healthy living choices when we are in a good mood. Music can create a positive and optimistic frame of mind that makes us realise our weight loss goals are achievable.
It’s much easier to stay motivated and dedicated to achieving our goals when we are in a good mood. Saying “no” to unhealthy foods and saying“yes” to healthy foods and exercise is always easier when we’re in a good mood.
If you find yourself feeling glum, overwhelmed or just plain fed up, look for opportunities to put on some tunes that lift your spirit. Better mood means better health choices. Better health choices means weight loss. Any time you sense your mood needs maintenance,look for opportunities to grab a hold of some music and repair your mood!
5. A good beat can set the pace for your walk.
When we set out to go for a walk, we usually don’t consciously think about the pace we’re walking at. We might have other things we’re thinking about or we might make a phone call or we might listen to an audio program. These are all fine options.
When we’re not concentrating on how fast we walk our pace can vary dramatically. We may start off strong but if we get heavily involved in a phone conversation we can slow down dramatically and even find that we’ve come to a complete stop! Or we may simply be feeling less energetic than usual and our stride slows down to reflect it.
One thing music gives us is pace. When we hear music we naturally want to align our movements to the beat. If we have a playlist that we use every day as our “walking music”, then we’ll have consistency in our walking pace. The music will ensure we walk at the same pace every day. If we have a set route we take every day,we’ll know that every walk is burning the same amount of calories. Knowing our walks are consistent in their contribution to our weight loss goals makes our progress that much more reliable.
Plus, kids love music! If you take a look at any group of pre-schoolers when music is suddenly introduced, you’ll notice they start to move. They move their arms up and down and sway to the beat. They shake their bottom and might kick the air. It’s not a Lady Gaga music video but it is clear that the music gets them moving!
Toddlers often show the same reaction. There is even evidence that babies are moved by music much more than they are by human speech Science is yet to provide the answer why, but there is clear evidence that humans are hardwired to move to music!Use our physiology to your advantage, put on a beat and groove your way to abetter life!
Music can make us move, distract us from our problems, increase our effort, improve our mood and set the pace for our walks. Out of all the tools in our weight-loss tool box, music can be one of the most powerful. Music can give us a kick in the pants to start exercising and music can help crank it up once we’ve started moving.
We need to reach into our weight-loss toolbox and grab a hold of music to repair and maintain our health! Find a playlist that kick-starts it for you!