Music is a powerful tool many of us can’t imagine our lives without. A single song or even a simple melody has the ability to teleport you through time and let you relive certain moments over and over again. It can remind you of certain people, places and events, allowing you to enjoy them all over again and carry those memories with you wherever you go.
Whether we feel sad, happy, angry or relaxed, the right music can make everything better, so there’s no denying that it has a significant impact on our mind and body. When it comes to exploring those body-music connections, there are plenty of ways to do it – here are some of them.
Music can take virtually any activity to the next level, and this is especially true when it comes to listening to music while working out. Depending on the physical activity in question, you can create the perfect workout playlist and let it work its magic. Loud, fast-paced tunes can be a great addition to an intense workout session as they can increase your brain activity and motivate you to push the boundaries and try even harder. This can boost your physical performance and help you achieve your fitness goals more quickly and easily.
On the other hand, if the exercises you usually perform are more on the slow-paced side, the accompanying tunes should match the tempo of the activities. In that case, whether you’re walking, meditating or doing yoga, you’ll want to stick with tunes that are relaxing and calming while also turning down the volume so that the music provides a soothing background and a Zen environment.
Music can also be a great tool when it comes to post-exercise physical recovery. According to a study, listening to music after a workout can actually speed up the recovery process and make it feel less demanding. This is because playing your favorite tunes after hitting the gym helps lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve breathing, and relax muscle tension. What’s more, music enhances the production of serotonin and dopamine, the two hormones that assist in physical recovery. If you’re wondering which tunes you should play, slower, soothing ones are the best choice for relaxation. That being said, you want to make sure that it’s something you enjoy, so feel free to experiment until you find something you really like.
For someone who’s not a fan of traditional workouts and gyms, dancing can be a great way to get your body moving. Dancing helps you to connect with your body, to really accept it and feel it, while also reaping a variety of physical and emotional benefits. For starters, rhythm-based workouts involve a number of body movements and expressions that activate different groups of muscles and engage the whole body, which increases endurance and improves balance, coordination and flexibility. Since dancing also involves remembering dance workout sequences, it keeps the mind active and engaged which helps improve memory and mental acuity.
Putting on your dancing shoes is beneficial for a number of reasons, and the only thing you need, aside from motivation, are some fashionable shoes and activewear you feel comfortable in so you can look as good as you feel. Whether you’re into Zumba, Jazzercise, Reggaetón, or Yoga Trance dance, once you find the right dance routine and equipment, you can literally dance your way to better you.
Another way music and body are connected has to do with food and the way we eat. The pace at which we eat, the rhythm at which we chew, and the amount of food we ingest can all be influenced by one major external factor – music. In addition, the music you listen to while eating can also change your perception of the food and its taste, and the better the music, the more likely you are to enjoy your food. As the tempo of the song increases, so does the speed and the amount of food that is being eaten.
If you’re looking for a way to cut calories, consider creating a soothing environment first. Listening to slower, soothing songs is likely to get you to eat more slowly, leaving more time for your stomach to inform the brain that it is full. Playing calming tunes will also help you be more mindful about the food you’re consuming, so you can be more present and take the experience of eating to a new level.
Our bodies and music are connected in so many ways, and even though we may not notice it sometimes, our mood and emotions are heavily influenced by the music from our surroundings. By exploring the body-music connections, you can consciously use the power that music has on the body and mind to your advantage and make the most of your activities, whether you’re exercising, eating, dancing, or simply relaxing.