Singing While Working Out Could Help You Lose More Weight. Yes, Really!
I have great news for all musical theater majors, former choir kids, and fearless people in general: singing while working out can help you lose weight. Yep, Salon reports that one secret to an effective workout is doing your best rendition of Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love while running on the treadmill — or, you know, whatever music you enjoy listening to while exercising.
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, these findings suggest that "producing music" while exercising can seriously affect how you much weight you lose. According to Thomas Fritz, the study’s lead researcher and a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, singing activates “emotional motor control” — the same part of your brain that makes you smile. Apparently, this system is more efficient when it comes to weight loss, and takes more than just listening to music to turn on.
But…why isn’t listening enough? Not all of us are comfortable with singing outside of our cars/showers/other places one can be completely alone and vulnerable! I love singing out loud as much as the next person, but only when my roommate isn't home and there's a full length mirror involved.
Luckily, us shy-singers shouldn't worry. Listening might be good enough after all. The Huffington Post points out we all have songs that can put us “in the zone” to help motivate us to work harder. Music alone can also elevate your mood and help you keep a decent pace while exercising. Lifehacker takes it a step further and suggests that music can, especially for self-paced exercisers, travel to our supplementary motor area and team up with the brain to help the body maintain a pace — sort of like a metronome. It can also help distract us from how tired we are, increase endurance, and “promote metabolic efficiency.” I don’t have to be a scientist to know that equals a great workout.
The conclusion? Sing if you want to, but just listening has its benefits too. Although, the thought of everyone breaking into song together at the gym sounds pretty amazing. Maybe we could arrange this?