The Score Magazine May 2017 - Page 22

ADITI SARAWAGI MUSIC & FITNESS Music has an overhand reach across all spheres. It helps in relieving stress, puts one right in the party zone and helps one vent emotions too, be it listening, playing or creating music. Music has an undeniable connection to fitness as well. Not many can claim to knock out a workout or two without listening to their favourite beat pumping song. This is not only a psychological or a general phenomenon but the concept of the association of music and fitness has been scientifically ramified as well with researchers bringing out information on the interconnection of the two and how music actually affects fitness and our approach to it. Movement and music are deeply related and even if a person is sitting in one position listening to music, the sound vibrations increases electrical activity in those regions of the brain which are important for synchronizing movements and hence music and fitness are deeply entrenched. Research by Carl Foster, Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Laboratory and research director of the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin shows that as far back as in the B.C. era, rowers working on Roman Galleys, used music for their work. Drummers would play a certain beat which would keep the rowers rowing with a basic rhythm in coordination and following a common tempo. Research dating back to as far as 1911, shows that cyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing than when it was not. This correlation between music and fitness has been around for more than a hundred years and a huge amount of research has been conducted in this field and even today scientists are working on theories surrounding this phenomenon of music affecting people’s performances during any sort of physical activity. Research by Szabo, Small and Leigh in 1999, has also revealed that music not only facilitates exercise performance, but also reduces fatigue, promotes relaxation and increases motor co-ordination as well. Some psychologists suggest that the most effective form of music which will work in enhancing fitness should have rhythms at a frequency of two hertz i.e. 120 beats per minute (bpm) or 2 beats per second. This is the most natural form of rhythm to which people have been seen to respond to. Though 120bpm is said to be the most prevalent pulse, activities such as running on a treadmill or while performing other such exercises, people prefer music with rhythm of around 160bpm and sometimes even 180bpm for those who prefer an even faster tempo. Researchers are of the view that though each person favours a different tempo, a maximum tempo of 145bpm has an effect on perceived performance enhancement. A higher tempo does not really have an additional positive effect on fitness. 20 The Score Magazine