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Want to put some excitement into your running routine or step up your pace? Try listening to music while you’re running. Dr. Costas Karageorghis of the Brunel University School of Sport and Education is a former collegiate sprinter who spent two decades researching the correlation between running and music. “With nonelite runners, listening to music will increase performance levels by up to 20 percent,” says Karaeorghis.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, researchers reported that music reduced stress and depression in pregnant women and that the reason may be due to runners’ favorite feel-good hormones, endorphins. “Music is an
aesthetic pleasure that helps people attain relaxation and reduces
stress,” says lead researcher Chung-Hey Chen, Ph.D., of Taiwan’s
National Cheng Kung University. “One theory is that the right brain
releases endorphins” when music is being played.
This is good news if you need an excuse for getting a new iPod Shuffle. Upload up to 1,000 songs and use the beat, lyrics and volume to motivate you in boosting your workout efforts. Keep in mind: Listening to music while you’re running on a treadmill is safe, but if you choose to put on headphones while you’re running outdoors, make sure you keep the volume low and pay attention to your surroundings.