A new study has revealed that listening to motivational music can help runners tackle fatigue.
Jamming out to songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ by Survivor when running does actually help with combating mental fatigue according to University of Edinburgh experts.
They found that a motivational playlist that included the 1982 smash hit improved performance on running tests after a mentally-draining cognitive test.
As well as ‘Eye of the Tiger’, the playlists included ‘No One Knows’ by Queens of the Stone Age, as well as ‘Run This Town’ by Jay-Z and ‘Power’ by Kanye West.
‘Eye of the Tiger’ was famously featured throughout the 1982 film ‘Rocky III’, starring Sylvester Stallone as the titular character.
Arguably, the song, which reached number one on the UK singles chart, has become a quintessential motivational tune for sportspeople and gym-goers alike – but researchers were intrigued to find out if it actually helped performance.
The study, published in the Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, claims to be the first to investigate the effect of listening to music playlists on endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued.
‘Mental fatigue is a common occurrence for many of us, and can negatively impact many of our day-to-day activities, including exercise,’ said study author Dr Shaun Phillips at the University of Edinburgh’s Moray House School of Education and Sport.
‘Finding safe and effective ways to reduce this negative impact is therefore useful.
‘The findings indicate that listening to self-selected motivational music may be a useful strategy to help active people improve their endurance running capacity and performance when mentally fatigued.
‘This positive impact of self-selected music could help people to better maintain the quality and beneficial impact of their exercise sessions.’
Researchers say the positive effects of music could potentially be due to altered perception of effort when listening to tunes.
The results appear to contradict the findings of a 2018 study conducted by experts at Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Germany.
The authors found motivational music doesn’t improve overall performance during sports activities or exercise, but that it does make us more likely to take risks.
Meanwhile, a 2019 study in the journal Current Biology found excessive athletic training can make the brain tired, as well as the rest of the body.