Music makes us enjoy exercise more, finds brain study

Hate going to the gym? A new study may have found a way to make exercise more fun: put on your favorite tune.

Researchers suggest that listening to music may increase our enjoyment of exercise.

Researchers reveal that while listening to music during a workout doesn't increase focus on the task at hand, it does make exercise much more enjoyable.

Study co-author Marcelo Bigliassi, from Brunel University London in the United Kingdom, and his colleagues came to their findings by using electroencephalography (EEG) technology to monitor the brain's response to music while participants engaged in physical activity.

The researchers recently reported their resultsin the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise.

It's no secret that music has the ability to elicit emotional responses; research backs up this fact. A song can make us feel happy, sad, angry, empowered, or motivated. The latter is one reason why many of us reach for the headphones when we go for a run.

But how exactly does the brain respond to music when we exercise? It was this that Bigliassi and colleagues set out to answer.

"The brain mechanisms that underlie the psychological effects of auditory stimuli during physical activity are hitherto under-researched; particularly so in ecologically valid settings," the study authors note.