Music makes everything better, even exercise that leaves you totally spent and drenched in sweat, according to a study published last week in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Researchers had 20 moderately active adult men and women do an interval workout: four, 30-second "all-out" cycling sprints with four minutes of rest in between.
They did the workout on two separate occasions, with and without their treasured playlists. As expected, people found those heart-pumping sprints more enjoyable when they had their tunes—and they could push harder, too. The participants had higher peak and average power output when their headphones were in.
Other studies show that interval training's signature—alternating short bursts of intensity followed by periods of rest—offer far more health benefits than exercising steadily for longer periods of time. It's just that a long walk in the park is, you know, a walk in the park versus working as hard as you possibly can, even for just a few minutes.
That's why, despite this study's semi-obvious takeaway, we love to hear there's something out there that can help us stick with it. Also, it's a good excuse to try a fresh playlist! So we made you one, below.
Follow our "Power Through" playlist on Spotify.
[spotify id="spotify:user:health.com:playlist:3HgakErEsxJy03P6hSshTa" width="510" height="590" /]
And, if you need some interval workouts, we have those, too: