Gyms step off on the wrong beat

The dance music heard at most gyms is inappropriate. Not only do the regular beat and volume of techno and rap rapidly raise adrenaline levels, causing the heart and muscles to get tired prematurely, but each person at the gym is at a different stage of training. One person might be warming up while another is cooling down. «Not only healthy athletes aiming for top level performance go to gyms,» said Dritsas, «but older people who are just beginning to exercise and are not particularly fit, or who may have health problems. It’s very important that these people not be exposed to such music. Besides, and this applies to everyone, before a workout, there should be 10-15 minutes of music at a slow, easy pace, so that the exercise begins at a low pulse rate. This gives us the reserves to carry on exercising for longer. Slow music helps reduce stress and aids circulation so that blood flows better to the muscles.» Different pace Everyone needs their own personal stereo or CD player. As Dritsas explains: «Someone who is doing abdominal exercises doesn’t want to hear the same music as someone who is running on the treadmill. Besides, music has different effects on different people. Mozart doesn’t suit everyone. The trainer and the person should choose music for aerobic exercise together, and it would be good if gyms consulted music teachers or music therapists. «The ideal for aerobics would be to design a musical selection that starts at a relaxed pace then builds up at specific intervals coordinated with the pace of the exercises.» Even better results are achieved when the music is accompanied by a change of scene. «Of course, you get tired faster when you’re just looking at a wall or a plain color. That’s why a fast walk outdoors is better than standing in one spot at the gym and running on the treadmill. Changing scenery maintains your interest, and it and the music takes you out of yourself so that you don’t notice fatigue. The same goes for meditation.»