It's time to contemplate the use of music for fitness, based upon current research and future potential. Increasingly so, music is now considered as a means to
enhance health and performance.
Music activates practically every part of the brain, and those extensive effects on the brain indicate potential impacts of music yet to be discovered.
Ever watch a child dance, bounce, clap, and sing? Not only does the brain distinguish music from noise, we respond accordingly.
Neuroscientists have determined that listening to music stimulates dopamine production -- the feel-good neurotransmitter that has a motivational impact. Dopamine provides us with the same feelings as a piece of chocolate, sex, or certain drugs.
Music also stimulates the release of oxytocin, which plays a part in strengthening emotional bonds and trust between people.
Why should you consider including music for fitness?
Studies indicate that those who listen to motivational music while exercising feel better during and after their workouts. People who listen to upbeat music utilize more oxygen than those who listen to slower music.
Furthermore, faster tempos tend to increase effort, improve endurance, motivate, and enhance performance.
A University of Wisconsin study found that exercisers listening to music exhibited increased average heart rates, worked harder, and burned 7% more calories.
Because music is sound, it is a vibration. In vibroacoustic therapy, low frequency vibrations that can be felt and heard -- similar to the subwoofer in your home -- are transmitted to the body through speakers.
Short-term use of this method improved symptoms in Parkinson’s patients, such as less rigidity, ability to take longer steps, reduction of tremors and increased walking speed.
Researchers are hopeful that the use of low-frequency sound and vibration may also help people with fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s.
As part of your health care, you might consider a music therapist for physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs. Music therapy is shown to be useful for treating autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, emotional trauma, and depression.
Music-based treatment opens an exciting frontier for research. In the future, we may more readily consider this non-traditional treatment as medicine.
Maybe it’s time to get hooked on music as a healthy lifestyle choice. Use music for fitness because it just may help you stay healthy in more ways than you ever imagined.
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