Find your fit this January
Find your fit
Love it or hate it, January is here once more and so too is the start of a brand-new year.
Often, this may mean you are already loathing waking up to yet more dark, icy mornings, eagerly counting down the days until payday or still feeling guilty about forgetting to buy the last few gifts on your Christmas shopping list.
However, it may also mean finding yourself with a renewed sense of optimism and excitement as you look forward to the year ahead, particularly if your attentions are turned towards improving your health and wellbeing – and you are not alone.
January gym sign-ups
According to IHRSA, 12% of all gym sign-ups happen in January, a rise of nearly 4% compared to any other month.1
On top of this, thousands of us are also pledging to ditch the booze or go meat-free this month, while many have simply committed to exercising a little (or lot) more than before.
As many of us will know only far too well that when it comes to fitness, it can be a challenge to stay motivated and keep pushing through to reach those goals – between juggling your new year workload and knuckling down to those long overdue household chores, hitting the gym or heading for a post-work power walk can often be the last thing on our minds.
It is probably no surprise then that many people, including some of the world’s top athletes, often work on ensuring they feel comfortable, motivated and focused, just as much as they work on their fitness itself.
This could be anything from rewarding yourself every time you reach a new goal, exercising with friends so that you can still take part in those much-needed catch-ups, or riffling through your music collection to create a playlist full of fist-pumping, feel-good faves.
Listening to music whilst exercising
Listening to music, whether this be alone at the gym or during a class can help to increase energy, drive motivation and enhance your exercise experience overall.
It could help to keep you feeling upbeat, give your session a more positive feel and could potentially help to encourage you to exercise more regularly and for longer as a result.
In a recent study by the BPI, 71% of people who listened to music during a workout said that it impacted their enjoyment, whilst 61% said that listening to music impacted the intensity of their workouts, encouraging them to work harder than when no music was played.2
Tuning in to your favourite tracks and other well-known songs during a workout could help to enhance your performance and focus the mind, particularly when listening to songs that reflect the style and pace of your workout.
According to Marianne Rizkallah, Vice Chair and Trustee for the British Association of Music Therapy, “the best music to listen to while training is by an artist, or within a genre, that you know and love. Plus, it’s important to choose a tempo that suits your activity. The beat you run to will probably not be the same speed as the beat you lift weights to, so consider switching up your playlists and choose tracks you think you can keep on the beat with.”
Training to music that has the right tempo can help to provide a regulating system for our brain to hook onto which can help to make a significant difference to your workouts.
Listening to music, particularly songs that suit your sessions, could help you to get into the right mood, provide an added boost and help to enhance levels of engagement, particularly during those extra challenging or difficult sessions.
So, whether you are getting ready to dust off those old pair of trainers for a quick 5k or lacing up your brand-new ones ahead of your latest HIIT class, find your fit this January and use music to get the most out of your workouts.