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Music may lead to better health

February 24, 2014

Listening to your favorite music, whether it's the beautiful strings of Beethoven or the serenading soul of Sinatra, may be beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Not only can melodies improve one's mental and emotional well-being, but several studies have tested their impact on one's physical health as well. Researchers have found that lower blood pressure, decreased anxiety and speedier recovery after surgery can all be positive side effects of listening to music. 

Mood, blood pressure may be related to musical beats
While people commonly flock to their music-playing devices after having a difficult day, scientists have discovered that the emotional release they may feel could be due to the decreased blood pressure that accompanies listening to one's favorite tunes. Researchers at the University of Maryland examined the effects of participants' favorite songs on their blood pressure. They found that the music made people experience high levels of joy, increasing both their moods and the functioning of their blood vessels. Carlos Bayron, a cardiologist at the Medical Center of Trinity who recently gave a lecture on the benefits of music on the body, detailed just how effective tunes may be at increasing overall health, according to The Suncoast News.

"Your favorite songs don't just make you tap your foot or boost your mood," Bayron said, according to the news source. "Music has a powerful influence on a listener's heart rate. If you have ever felt a surge of energy when your favorite upbeat song comes on the radio, or if you listen to slow music to relax, the emotions your experience are directly linked to what music does to your heart rate."

Music may contribute to faster recovery and stronger heart health
After following a group of individuals who were recovering from different forms of heart disease, scientists found that music, paired with exercise, had an immense effect on program participants. According to The Telegraph, scientists who presented their findings to the European Society of Cardiology conducted a trial in which three groups tested how outside factors could influence the healing process. The groups, which consisted of a music group, an exercise group, and a music and exercise group, reported a significant increase in functioning following their treatments. While the group that listened to music and exercise experienced the highest health improvements - with a 39 percent increase in exercise ability - the participants who listened to music only reported better heart functioning and a 19 percent increase in exercise ability. The scientists explained in the article that music leads to a release of endorphins, which, in turn, promotes better heart health and functioning.