Music Improves Performance

The influence of music on physical performance is controversial. Most studies show that music has only a limited capacity to improve performance, no matter how pleasurable or inspirational it may sound. A Brazilian study showed that well-trained distance runners who played music before a 5K run experienced positive changes in the brain and improved performance. Music activated the prefrontal cortex of the brain and acted as a distraction against the discomfort of endurance running. Runners ran the first 800 meters faster after listening to music, regardless of whether the music was slow or inspirational. Music also helped athletes recover faster.

Source: Journal Strength and Conditioning Research, 29:305-314, 2015

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