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How Music Helps You Get the Most From Exercise — and Stress Tests

Cardiac Stress TestHave you noticed it’s easier to work out when you’re listening to your favorite tunes? It turns out, music really may provide that extra oomph that makes you feel like you can exercise longer. A recent study found that music can boost treadmill stress test times as well.

Preventive cardiologist Haitham Ahmed, MD, encourages patients to add music to their exercise routines. It can make the physical exertion easier and also may improve your performance on stress tests, he says.

“Music is an amazing thing. It’s truly a universal language. Everyone has different tastes, but music appeals to everyone,” he says. “The type of music you listen to during exercise doesn’t matter. Just pick something that makes you happy and motivated and distracts you so you can work out longer.”

Dr. Ahmed answers questions about why music may benefit those taking stress tests as well as why it has such a big impact on exercise.

Q: Why is it important to have a good time on stress tests?
A: How long you can exercise on a treadmill is one of the most important indicators of your long-term health. It’s a predictor of whether you’ll survive the next 10 years. Being able to exercise longer can increase your longevity by as much as 20 percent.

Q: Does music affect your stress test performance?
A: Yes. Studies show that if you listen to music on a treadmill during a stress test, you can extend your exercise time by as much as six minutes.

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