Psychological and Psychophysiological Effects of Recuperative Music Postexercise

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Abstract

Purpose

Few studies have examined the psychological and psychophysiological effects of recuperative music after exhaustive exercise. The main purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of two music conditions compared with a no-music control on psychological and psychophysiological recovery processes after exercise.

Methods

A randomized, fully counterbalanced, crossover design was used. Core affect, salivary cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure were measured before exhaustive exercise, immediately after, and in 10-, 20-, and 30-min intervals during passive recovery (21 women and 21 men; 20.9 ± 1.7 yr) over three separate trials (slow, sedative music; fast, stimulative music; no-music control). The exercise task entailed incremental cycle ergometry performed at 75 rpm with an increase in intensity of 22.5 W·min−1 at the end of each minute until exhaustion. Data were analyzed using mixed-model 3 (condition) × 4 (time) × 2 (gender) MANOVA/ANCOVA.

Results

The largest decline in affective arousal between active and passive recovery phases was evident in the slow, sedative condition (ηp2 = 0.50). Women had a more pronounced reduction in arousal than did men in the slow, sedative music condition. Heart rate measures showed that fast, stimulative music inhibited the return of heart rate toward resting levels (ηp2 = 0.06). Similarly, salivary cortisol levels tended to be lower in response to slow, sedative music (ηp2 = 0.11). There was a main effect of condition for affective valence indicating that the slow, sedative condition elicited more positive affective responses compared with the control and fast, stimulative conditions (ηp2 = 0.12).

Conclusions

The present findings support the notion that slow, sedative music can expedite the recovery process immediately after strenuous exercise.

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