Does jamming to your favorite tunes make your cardio session fly by? Now there’s another reason to clip on your Walkman. Combining music and exercise may help you solve that elusive last clue in the Sunday crossword puzzle.

In an Ohio State University study, 33 cardiac rehabilitation patients were asked to generate word lists in specific subject categories before and after two separate exercise sessions, one with classical music and one without. The verbal fluency test scores improved significantly after exercising with music, while exercising without music was not associated with cognitive change (Heart & Lung, 2003, vol. 32, no. 6).

"Although our study evaluated patients with cardiac disease, it is quite possible that average healthy adults would experience cognitive benefits from listening to music while exercising," says lead study author Charles Emery, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Ohio State.