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Music Improves Energy Levels

Novembre 2017
Una combinazione vincente: esercizio fisico e musica. Gli studi dimostrano che il nostro cervello si lascia piacevolmente ingannare dalle canzoni, riducendo la sensazione di stanchezza.

di John O’Reilly © British Council

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Many runners and gym members feel that music makes exercise more enjoyable. However, they might not know that scientists have found that some kinds of music can improve people’s energy by 15 per cent. This was discovered by Dr. Costas Karageorghis at Brunel University’s School of Sport and Education. Karageorghis has worked with organisations such as Nike and with many champion athletes. In the study, thirty people listened to inspiring music by Queen, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna. They did exercise at the same time.

Nerve communication ‘stopped’

When they were doing exercise in time with the music, people showed higher energy levels. Even when they were doing very hard exercise, they were positive about how they felt. When people are doing exercise, their nerves send messages saying that their body is getting tired. However, when they are listening to music at the same time, these messages are blocked. Karageorghis thinks this is because the music causes part of the brain to send different messages to the body that make it feel happy and relaxed.

Different effects

Karageorghis’ work shows that different types of music can have different effects on different people. The effect of some music can also depend on how tiring the exercise is. Karageorghis says that people who have extrovert personalities prefer faster and louder kinds of music compared to people who have a reserved personality. This is because, for the music to have an effect, the brains of extrovert people need more stimulation than the brains of reserved people. Reserved people want to feel less worried and so have better results when the music makes them feel relaxed.
Karageorghis was asked to provide music for the Run to the Beat half marathon in the UK, and which has also now started in other countries. “I also have lots of other exciting projects that I am working on,” says Karageorghis. One of these is to find out if the speed of the music we listen to has an effect on our heart rate while we exercise.


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Athlete. Sportivo. In molti contesti, la parola atleta funge da sinonimo di sportivo (sportsperson). Soprattutto in quegli sport che, a differenza delle freccette o degli scacchi, richiedono una certa forza fisica, agilità o resistenza.

Hot. Piccante. La parola hot è uno degli esempi più chiari della coesistenza di significati diversi, o polisemia, per la stessa parola: significa sia caldo sia piccante o anche, in modo informale, attraente.