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Posted on 2015-10-20

Music and Its Effects on Your Treadmill Workout

Boredom is often hard to avoid when it comes to treadmill workouts. It can feel restrictive and confining. Aside from being able to increase speed and incline, you don’t really have much action going on except for the repetitive nature of your arm and leg swing. That’s where music comes out of the bullpen to save the day. It’s been well documented that music can raise endorphins, which are natural painkillers. But music can also bode well for your body during training. A lot of this has to do with mind over matter. If your mind is in the right place, you can overcome nearly any adversity. Here are a few ways that music has an impressive impact on your treadmill workouts.

  1. Running on a treadmill takes a lot of endurance; especially longer runs. Endurance is your ability to maintain a given effort for an extended period of time. Music can improve your endurance instantly, which can enable you to work out longer and burn more calories. This will have a carryover effect if you are training for a 5k or a long race like a marathon. Your improved endurance will allow you to perform at a higher level.
  2. Music has a motivating factor. It can get you fired up! Do you remember watching Rocky Balboa run down the streets of Philadelphia in Rocky I and II? “Gonna Fly Now” was playing on the screen and you had no choice but to feel a rush of excitement. Chances are you felt like getting up from your chair and going for a run on the spot. That’s because music has a natural uplifting effect and it can boost your mood. If you are happy while exercising, it will feel less arduous.
  3. The rhythm of a song plays a key role in exercise performance. Every song has a given beat-per-minute (bpm) count. As you are running, you can time your paces with the beat, which helps you move with more fluidity. Songs that have a fluctuating rhythm are especially good for intervals. “One” by Metallica is an example of this.
  4. Lyrics can also play a role in the effects of music too. When you get a good song blaring on your iPod, you tend to sing along. If it has a positive message behind it, you get into a groove of empowerment, which drives you to run harder and faster. “It’s a Beautiful Day” by U2 is a good example.
  5. The distraction factor must not be overlooked. When you are listening to a song, you tend to focus your attention on the song. Not on your workout, not on the treadmill and not on the sweat running down your cheek. You think about the music and this takes your mind off the work you are doing.


  • Sorry - Justin Bieber
  • Focus - Ariana Grande
  • Live Young Die Free - Fletcher
  • Love Myself - Hailee Steinfeld
  • Fake It Till You Make It - BRIIA
  • Numbers - Dirty Radio
  • What Do You Mean - Justin Bieber
  • Adventure of a Lifetime - Coldplay
  • Try Me - Jason Derulo
  • Downtown - Machlemore
  • She’s Kinda Hot - 5 Seconds of Summer
  • I Don’t Like It, I Love It - Flo Rida
  • Levels - Nick Jonas
  • I Really Like You - Carly Rae Jepsen
  • Whip It! - Lunchmoney