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Music improves walking in MS, jump-starts workouts

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  • Music improves walking in MS, jump-starts workouts

    Continuous 12 minute walking to music, metronomes and in silence: auditory-motor coupling and its effects on perceived fatigue, motivation and gait in persons with multiple sclerosis

    Lousin Moumdjiana, et al


    In Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS), coupling walking to beats/pulses in short bursts is reported to be beneficial for cadence and perceived fatigue. However it is yet to be investigated if coupling and its effects can be sustained for longer durations, required for task-oriented training strategy in PwMS.

    To investigate if PwMS compared to healthy controls (HC) sustain synchronization for 12 minutes when walking to music and metronome, and its effects on perceived physical and cognitive fatigue, motivation and gait compared to walking in silence.

    Participants walked for 12 minutes in three conditions (music, metronome and silence). The tempo of the auditory conditions was individualized. Auditory-motor coupling and spatio-temporal gait parameters were measured during walking. The visual analogue scale was used for perceived fatigue, and the Likert scale for motivation.

    27 PwMS and 28 HC participated. All participants synchronized to both stimuli, yet PwMS synchronized better to music. Overall, participants had lower cadence, speed and stride length when over time all conditions, with an exception of HC, with increasing cadence during the music condition. PwMS perceived less cognitive fatigue, no difference in perceived physical fatigue and a higher motivation walking to music compared to metronomes and silence.

    12 minutes of uninterrupted walking was possible in PwMS in all conditions, while better synchronization, low perception of cognitive fatigue and high motivation occurred with music compared to other conditions. Coupling walking to music could offer novel paradigms for motor task-oriented training in PwMS.

    Auditory-motor coupling and synchronizationMultiple sclerosisProlonged walkingFatigueMusicMetronomeSpatiotemporal parameters
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    Listen to up-tempo, rhythmic music. Turn it up. And exercise with intention. The difference is vast according to new research. And it is perfect for high-intensity workouts, as volunteers "reported having enjoyed the exercise most when the music was playing, compared to when they heard the podcast or nothing. Surprisingly, they also turned out to have exerted themselves most then. Their heart rates and power outputs were significantly higher during the session with songs than without."
    Dave Bexfield