I just returned from New Orleans and I still find my foot tapping to the beats of brass band music. In the birthplace of jazz, great music echoes through the streets of the French Quarter to Treme and Marigny and in the Uptown homes. Over the course of the week, I found the beat at times adding spring to my step and at others settling me in for lazy dinners with friends. Truly the beat shapes the senses and adds joy to time in The City that Care Forgot.
Music seems to be an ever present part of sport and exercise. Great performances can be fueled and flagging efforts averted by a well chosen play list. Music can inspire. The rhythm of the beats shape the body’s physiological responses and focus the mind. The human body seeks to be in tune with its surrounding world – subconsciously moving with surrounding beats, finding rhythmic homeostasis. The heart’s beat is literally the rhythm of life… the sound flowing through your earbuds will prove to be the rhythm of your workout. Choose wisely.
- Athletes, before competition consider tunes that settle you. There is plenty of energy when awaiting the start of play. Music shapes psychomotor arousal. Preserving energy for when the starting whistle is blown is wise.
- When it is time to move. Choose melodies that get you up to speed and help you stay there. Steady driving music helps you keep the moving at the tempo that helps you achieve your exercise goals.
Regardless of preferred musical genre, be aware of how it shapes your body and the energy you are able to give at the gym. When it’s time to play, I’m partial to Trombone Shorty’s Suburbia. What gets you going and helps you achieve your exercise goals?
Dr. Adam Naylor leads Telos Sport Psychology Consulting and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in Boston University’s School of Education. He has a decade and a half of experiences working with professional through amateur athletes – of note: US Open competitors, NCAA champions, Olympians, Stanley Cup winners, and UFC martial artists. Beyond sports, over the past five years he has served as a corporate performance and wellness consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ahnaylor.