Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Study Spotlight: Music to Enhance Recovery

Joel Luedke

Almost every gym goer has utilized music one way or another to help their workout.  Whether it is to get them pumped up and ready to go for a run, a big set or something to help keep them going during a workout it's heavily used.  There is plenty of great research out there on how uptempo music can affect the pace of a runner and the intensity of a workout for the good but what about recovering?  Slower paced, calm music has been researched and used to help with studying but could it possibly help your body get into a recovery state quicker?  That's what these researchers looked at.

Researchers looked at a group of young adults recovering from a  bout of physical exercise and how fast music, slow music and silence effected each persons ability to recovery.  They looked at both objective measures (blood pressure) and subjective measures (recovery from exertion (RPE)).

What They Found:
Researchers found that the recovery time of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, pulse recovery rate and recovery from exertion (RPE) was significantly faster with slow music when compared to no music or fast music.  They found all of this was irregardless of personal music choice.  Music reduced muscular and mental tension and thereby decreased sympathetic stimulation as observed in some studies. In addition to this, the plasma catecholamine is also lowered when relaxation is accompanied by music.  Overall the study found that music hastens post exercise recovery and slow music has a greater relaxation effect than fast or no music and there was difference between males and females.

What Does It Mean?:

Finding that slow music helped speed recovery gives another simple tool to aid in recovery.  Often times you return to your car, the locker room or home and the music might be upbeat or too loud and this can slow down your recovery process.  Look to try and switch up your post workout music routine to something slower (remember style doesn't matter) to help reset your levels back to baseline.

Combine this with the nervous system resetting power of a cold whirlpool and your are setting yourself and your athletes up for a great recovery they didn't even know they were accomplishing.

Check out that Study Spotlight HERE.

Effect of Different Musical Tempo on Post Exercise Recovery in Young Adults
Savitha D.
Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2010: 54(1): 32-36

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