It's no secret that many people prefer to listen to music when exercising. But music doesn't just make physical activity more enjoyable, it actually boosts your performance noticeably. With music, people are able to carry weights much longer than in silence. They are also able to complete a sprint in less time.
As with the time compression effect discussed above, distraction plays a significant role in this. Usually, if your brain is listening to music, it doesn't think about how bad your legs hurt, or how much more you can run before you hear the final whistle. However, there are several more important factors.
First of all, synchronicity. When your movements match the tempo of the music, you waste less time and effort in ineffective decelerations and accelerations than when you move at your own pace. Music also increases the frequency of the “flow of states”. States similar to a meditative trance, in which everything works correctly for the athlete, and as a result, overall performance increases.
Music can even make you feel no pain. Patients listening to music after surgery required fewer pain medications, reported less pain, and had lower blood pressure. Doctors also say that specially selected melodic music dramatically reduces stress in patients during brain surgery. In some cases, the music allowed patients to relax so much that they fell into a deep sleep while the operation was in progress.