Use Music to Boost Your Health

Image of someone drumming

Whether you are looking to relieve stress, lower your blood pressure, or simply clear your mind - music can help! Research has shown that listening to your favorite music is not only good for your soul - it's good for your health as well.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore found that the emotions aroused by music have a healthy effect on blood vessel function. In the study, participants chose music that made them feel good and brought them a sense of joy. When they listened to their chosen music, researchers found that the tissue in the inner lining of blood vessels dilated (or expanded), increasing blood flow. On the other hand, when study volunteers listened to music they perceived as stressful, their blood vessels narrowed, producing a potentially unhealthy response that reduces blood flow.

With the season of outdoor music festivals and summer concerts upon us, this is the perfect time to embrace the idea of using joyful music to improve your health! Here are a few other ways we can use music to our benefit:

Tap Your Foot: Researchers you can increase the impact of music on your body and mind by actively participating in the music - this can be accomplished by simply humming and tapping your foot to the beat. Motivation: A study of male college students found that the participants worked harder riding stationary bikes while listening to music with a fast rhythm.

Match Your Rhythm: Help set the rhythm of your run or workout routine by choosing music with a rhythm that is in time with your pace. Recover Slowly: Likewise, slower music at the end of a workout has been shown to help your body recover and cool down.

Savor Your Food: The same principle works while you are eating a meal too - listening to slower music while you dine will subconsciously encourage you to eat slower, improving digestion and potentially leading you to consume fewer calories.

Improve Blood Flow: Listening to music has been shown to have a healthy effect on blood vessels, increasing blood flow. Relieve Stress: Listening to music triggers biochemical stress reducers that alleviate tension.

Elevate Your Mood: Various studies have shown that listening to upbeat or soothing music before, during and after high stress situations (sports competitions, driving in traffic, and even before and after surgery or cancer treatments) can improve your mood as well as your ability to focus and perform well.

Get your dose of music medicine at the Palladio Summer Concert Series! Enjoy this year's outstanding concert line up, happening every Wednesday June through August. It's all free and happening at the Palladio at Broadstone in Folsom!

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