According to a new study featured on Medical News Today, making your own music such as whistling or singing along to the rhythm of your exercise routine may actually program your muscles to use less energy more effectively.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany worked with 63 male and female volunteers on two tests: one had participants passively listening to background music while working out, while the other had them use fitness machines that were modified to produce music. The faster the participants were, the more upbeat the music would become. .
Interestingly, participants experienced less strain during the second trial, which had allowed them to create music according to their own movements. Their muscles expended less energy, but increased in efficiency.
"This implies that the developed technology is more favorable as a new athletic sports technology, presumably because more emotionally-driven motor control occurs with the musical ecstasy," says lead scientist Dr. Thomas Fritz. “A down-modulating effect of musical activity on exertion could be a yet undiscovered reason for the development of music in humans: Making music makes physical exertion less exhausting."
(Photo by Yutaka Tsutano via Flickr Creative Commons)