SOURCE: Flickr user Gregory Bastien

We already know that stories and music can move us emotionally, and get butts in seats at the local performance space. But of course, stories and music can also compel us to move, literally, and get our butts out of seats. Two stories suggest that we’ve only begun to explore the connections between expression and exercise — beyond the techno-pump music that drives our current workouts.

One story is a new series of stories from Runtastic, audio narratives to propel runners through the many stages of an optimal run. Says the article:

Of course, these aren’t just any stories — they fit the length of the average Runtastic runner’s run (40 minutes) and, guess what, they all feature running. And it’s not just about running from zombies — there are fantasy stories, adventure stories, travel and motivation too.

Curiosity builds as you begin the run. Tension builds as you reach the peak. Then resolution cools you back down as you come back home. Sort of Aristotle meets Adidas.

Another story comes from the world of weight-lifting, where researchers turned work-out machines into music-making instruments, driven by the individual’s rhythm and exertion. The study found that the addition of making music beyond just listening during the workout changed the game.

Creating their own rhythms and melodies had lowered the physiological cost of exercise and greatly increased its subjective allure compared with when the exercisers passively listened to virtually the same music.

Of course, this isn’t news. People have been whistling and singing while they work for centuries. But it suggests yet one more path to integrating expressive life into everyday life.