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Hate HIIT? Science Says Music Might Make It Way More Bearable

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Everyone has a different workout personality—some people like the ~zen~ of yoga, some like that focused burn of barre and Pilates, while others could live off their runner's high for days or lift heavy until their muscles are Jell-O. No matter how you get sweaty, it's good for your body. But there's one form of exercise—high-intensity interval training—that proves to be crazy beneficial, time and time again. (Here are the eight benefits of HIIT that will get you hooked.)

But HIIT is freaking hard—it requires pushing yourself to the limit mentally and physically. And, understandably, that means a lot of people don't like it. After all, exercise is supposed to be fun. So what's a girl to do when HIIT is on the menu for today's workout? (Or if it's just the fastest way to reach your health and fitness goals?)

Good news: There's a quick fix. Listening to music will most likely make you enjoy HIIT more, according to a new study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences. The study put 20 healthy men and women—who'd never done HIIT before—to the test with some sprinting intervals. None of the participants started out with a negative view of HIIT, but the researchers found that the participants' attitudes toward it were significantly more positive after doing HIIT with music vs. without tunes. (It will make sense when you learn what music does to your brain.)

Listening to music while working out seem a little obvious, but HIIT with headphones isn't always easy; burpees are basically impossible with buds in your ears, and doing sprint intervals with an iPhone in your hand or strapped to your arm doesn't work so well either. Now that you know music is the secret to a better HIIT workout, fire up your Bluetooth speaker or commandeer your gym's sound system, and get those beats bumpin'. (Did you know listening to music makes you more active in general—not just at the gym?)

Not sure what to play? We've got you covered! Try one of these perfect playlist picks below for music that will rock your workout, so you can push harder than ever before (and stop hating HIIT).

The Songs That Rio Olympians Use to Get Pumped Up
HIIT Playlist Made Perfectly for Interval Training
The Ultimate Beyoncé Workout Playlist

 

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