Think about your favorite workout. Whether you shimmy at Zumba or compile a playlist of favorite songs for your long runs, music plays a part in your enjoyment of the activity. But you may not know that music can improve a sweat session. Research shows that playing music during low- to moderate-intensity workouts can make exercise feel easier and improves cardiovascular endurance.
Music is especially helpful in maintaining the physical health of seniors. According to the National Council on Aging, every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room after a fall. Many older individuals fear falling so much they stop exercising, which increases their risk for injury or other health challenges.
South Shore Health System offers a wide variety of community exercise programs to keep older adults active and healthy. Many of them, including Aquatic Movement and Dance and our Arthritis Aquatic Program, incorporate music. Here are just a few of the benefits to exercising to a favorite song:
- Music promotes socialization and communication with others. When seniors become less active, they often become less social—which can lead to depression and other health issues. Music unites a group and allows seniors to connect, reducing this risk.
- Exercising to music improves balance in seniors. Several studies have found that regular exercise programs built around movement and music improved balance and gait for those who attended the class, leading to fewer falls in seniors who moved to the beat.
- Promotes a positive state of mind and relaxes the body. We connect with music on a primal level. It gets us excited, elevating our heart rate and respiration. We’ll use some faster songs, such as “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves or “We Found Love” by Rhianna. We try to have a balance of old and new songs that keep the class engaged—and having fun!
So turn on the radio or fire up a favorite Spotify playlist and get moving. It can improve your health!
Have an older adult in your life who wants to exercise with the help of an experienced exercise therapist? The next session of our community exercise programs begins the week or September 11. Want to try it out? Mention this blog post and try a class on us! Click here to learn more.You can also call 781-624-4367 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for more information.