Most likely, you’ve felt a song pull on your heartstrings or maybe even felt your heart skip a beat. Countless love songs have been written about the heart, to the point that for many people love and music are beautifully intertwined.
Outside of these emotional effects, did you know that playing and listening to music actually has real health benefits for your ticker? Whether you’re a musician or a music fan, turn up the tunes and give your heart some love.
A recent study found that listening to music for just 30 minutes a day can lower your blood pressure. Patients with high blood pressure listened to classical music, Celtic music, or Indian ragas for a half hour every day for a month, leading to significant drops in systolic blood pressure, which is the top number when your blood pressure is taken. High systolic blood pressure increases heart disease risk. If you have high blood pressure, you should definitely consult your doctor for treatment options, but remember adding a daily dose of music can’t hurt!
Perhaps one reason music has the power to lower blood pressure is its natural stress-relieving ability. Music has actually been found more effective than prescription medications at reducing stress in patients before surgery. Next time you find yourself stressing, just take a deep breath and put on your favorite song. De-stressing isn’t just good for your heart; taking time to chill out boosts your immune system and helps to clear your head.
Musicians enjoy another heart benefit every time they pick up their instruments. Though most instruments are not exactly a workout, playing music does burn calories and it certainly beats eating potato chips on the couch. Drummers see the biggest burn, averaging around 200 calories per hour of playing. Guitarists and other musicians who rock out on their feet can burn from 130 to 200 calories per hour, while seated players only burn about 60 calories.
When you are ready for your workout, listening to music pumps you up and increases your stamina. Studies have shown many benefits to adding music to your workout, and regular exercise is one of the best ways to improve and maintain heart health. Don’t forget to bring your iPod the next time you hit the gym! Even if you don’t particularly like to exercise, you can at least enjoy your playlist.
Now that you know how music is good for your heart, why not find a few more ways to add more music to your day? Here are a few ideas:
- According to Nielsen, the average American watcesh about 32 hours of television per week. Instead of automatically reaching for the remote, turn on your stereo instead and enjoy the benefits of music!
- Don’t do your chores in silence! Put on your favorite album while you do the dishes or make a playlist you can put on when you work in the yard. Adding music to your daily tasks will change your mindset and help your heart.
- Want to play an instrument but you never learned how? Now is always the best time to start music lessons! Learning to play will deepen your appreciation for music and give you a new way to experience your favorite songs.
- Musicians, do you turn off your cell phone and your computer when you’re practicing your instrument? Many people don’t, and it can be very difficult to disconnect. Remind yourself that your emails will still be there later and give yourself at least 30 minutes of play without interruptions from technology.
How do you connect with music every day? Let us know in the comments!
–Megan L. TakeLessons Staff Member and Blogger
Photo by Ms. Phoenix