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London - A gym workout is often accompanied by some high-tempo dance tunes to inspire you to exercise harder.
But your local gym might in fact be better off playing classical music.
Neuroscientist Jack Lewis said that, while music in general makes people exercise slightly harder and slightly longer, classical music has added benefits.
He said: “Not only does upbeat music increase speed, strength and endurance, but the relaxing qualities of classical music appear to reduce heart rate, blood pressure and lower perceived exertion, at the same time.
“In addition, relaxing music has been shown to lower levels of cortisol in the body, the hormone associated with stress.”
He said there are classical compositions that have the same high tempo as dance music, yet with more complex harmonies.
Dr Lewis analysed reports of research in the field to come up with musical fitness tips for music streaming website rara.com.
He recommended Beethoven’s Symphony No 4, fourth movement, as the ideal workout music.
He also suggests matching music with heartbeat, so as your pulse increases, so should the beat of the music.
A faster beat “instructs” the brain to energise the body, he said. - Daily Mail