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Benefits of Workout Music

Whether we rise early to exercise or must wait till the evening to “squeeze” it in, we all have been confronted by the initial resistance of that voice in our head.

“I’ll do it later.”

“I had a hard day.”

“I didn’t sleep well last night.”

“I’m sore from yesterday’s workout”


We all have a go-to excuse. The one that we use to convince ourselves we don't have to do what we know is in our best interest.

Can music be that gentle push that gets us off the couch? A recent study in the February issue of Psychology of Sport and Exercise suggests that it just might be.

The study, entitled "The Way You Make Me Feel: Psychological and cerebral responses to music during real-life physical activity,” was conducted using state-of-the-art portable EEG equipment while participants engaged in a self-paced 400m outdoor walk on a track. They were randomly assigned one of three conditions: walking in silence, or listening to a podcast or to music. After the exercise, the participants were asked to report their perceived exertion and attention, as well as enjoyment and the degree to which they viewed the activity as positive.

The EEG results indicated that those walking while listening to music had a significant increase in beta waves in their frontal and frontal-central cerebral cortex compared to those walking in silence or listening to a podcast. Further, they found those listening to music reported a 28% increase in enjoyment compared to those walking in silence, and a 13% increase compared to those listening to a podcast.

The results also indicated that those listening to music did not direct their attention to the physical task and its sensory impact, but instead focused on other things- perhaps making the physical effort easier to tolerate.

The takeaway: music made working out more fun.

Maybe music will be our saving grace. We know that across the United States, people struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In the United States, only 50% of adults meeting the physical activity goals set by the federal government.  

If you’re one of the 50%, don’t let it get your down- studies still show that ANY level of exercise is significantly better than NONE. Even doing a little movement can improve inflamation, brain volume, metabolic syndrome, heart health, cognitive functioning, fatigue, and stress, with any level of physical exertion.

If you’re anything like us- music makes you move! So put on that playlist, jam out with your ArtistWorks instructor, or play something yourself- you just might burn some calories in the process.

Ready to start playing the music you listen to? Study over 35 instruments from expert instructors on ArtistWorks. Explore all our offerings here.



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