There has been many instances in history of using music as part of an exercise program and in fact my wife and I use music as part of our 10 minute morning Calisthenics routine. But it is important to select the right type of music to augment your exercise routine and in modern times people can place themselves at risk when using the various sound devices in an open environment.
In modern times exercise to music became popular within Commercial Gymnasiums from the late 1970s particularly after the Actress Jane Fonder put out a series of videos under the term of Jazzicise. They had upbeat tempo and rhythmical music of which some was especially written for this type of exercise. These routines revolutionized the Commercial Gym industry and drew many more women to use them. There were many offshoots in commercial revenue which still goes on today, particularly in the apparel-for-exercise industry for both men and women.
As I stated earlier using music as part of exercise is not a new phenomenon and I used to use marching as a warmup for my gymnastics classes which were designed off the Swedish Gymnastics routines and have occasionally used music in Rehab programs. Using music augments natural movement and when you want to develop coordination either with large groups or with individuals it is a very effective tool. In fact the ancient chants used by medical practitioners had a very beneficial effect on human health. This is the upside of using music in exercise and the augmentation of health but what about the negative effects?
I think it comes down to the importance of selecting the right type of music that has the right rhythm and cadence, therefore it goes with our natural biorhythms as well as with the type of exercise routine we are doing. Selecting the wrong music will work against the person using it. Even though you use your favorite music, which will help raise your mood it may not help you with the routine you are doing. So you might choose music that helps you get into the right mood before your program then change the music when you start the program that suits the movement patterns you’re doing then change the music again when you cool down.
Personally I don’t like using music in my Resistance program because I find it distracting but I enjoy it in my morning Calisthenics routine as it really helps a lot in the waking up process. The music we use is rhythmical classical piano music which has very defined patterns to it, but you can find more modern music that will give you the same effect. As long as it is not load Rock music (some of which I personally enjoy listening to, but does not give the right for a morning routine). If you choose Rock music for your exercise program be very selective in what you use because a greater proportion of it does not pattern itself to our natural biorhythms.
Of course using music in running the roads, or worse cycling is dangerous because it distracts you in concentrating on your safety and you would have heard of the many instances of people being killed when they run or bike into other traffic using the road. It is safer to use music in running or walking in an off-road environment.
So the definitive answer to using music in your exercise program is the be very selective of how, when and where you use it.
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