Man with huge muscles lifting weights at gym

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NEW YORK — Almost six in 10 Americans think they have what it takes to be an action movie star. That’s the takeaway from a new survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, 57 percent of whom would relish the opportunity to channel their inner Chris Hemsworth or Michelle Yeoh – with the right training and resources, of course.

One in three (35%) cite action movies as a huge influence on their fitness goals, while another 57 percent say watching the right action flick leaves them feeling more motivated. However, maybe it’s the stunts that appeal to us, not the physical challenge, as fewer respondents (47%) think they could hold their own on competitive shows like “Wipeout!” or the classic series “Double Dare.”

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Alpha Lion, the study also reveals that only 22 percent of respondents like to stay completely focused when they exercise. Meanwhile, two out of five (40%) prefer having something to distract them, including 19 percent who “always” need something to take their mind off their workout.

The unseen power of jamming out

For the overwhelming majority, this means frequently listening to music (71%), although some often turn to audiobooks (56%) and even video games (55%). In fact, a third of respondents (35%) listen to music every single time they work out, and two-thirds (66%) have made their own workout playlists to jam out with.

The most popular workout genres include rock (29%), pop (29%), rap/hip-hop (25%), and R&B (25%) – while musical theater (17%) and movie soundtracks (17%) clocked in as the least welcome workout accompaniment. Despite that, 34 percent pick workout songs that remind them of scenes from TV shows or movies — although this proved less important than whether or not they liked the song in the first place (41%).

“Without a doubt, music is a powerful thing,” says Drew Peters, VP of Science & Innovation at Alpha Lion, in a statement. “There is robust research that music captures attention, influences emotions, alters or regulates mood, increases work output, heightens arousal, induces states of higher performance. Think of it as the world’s most widely used supplement – it’s literally a performance-enhancing ergogenic aid.”

Are active people happier people?

Sixty-eight percent frequently sync up their workout to the music they’re listening to, and 62 percent even confess to playing the same song over and over again on a constant loop. However, not everybody felt the same, including the 13 percent who never listen to music while working out.

“​​You’re joking, right?” one respondent says. “Why would anyone want music to disturb their serenity?”

Regardless, it’s the workout itself that matters, as the data also hints at a correlation between physical activity and overall levels of happiness.

Of those polled, people who described themselves as “completely active” (37%) were most likely to report being “very satisfied” with their life, while those with “completely sedentary” lifestyles (10%) were more likely to be “very dissatisfied” (87%).

“While the research is still in its relatively early stages, there does appear to be a direct correlation between listening to music and the effects it has on your performance in the weight room,” Peters says. “It can positively impact things like muscle power, explosiveness and strength-endurance among a host of other potential benefits.”

About Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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