The most recent issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Health contained an article explaining how music can reinforce healthy behavior and even help with pain management. It may come as a surprise to you that Scandinavians need to worry about alternatives to Big Pharma, what with the fact that they live in civilized countries that take care of the health and welfare of their citizens by providing affordable and quality health care to all. But turns out, they do! Anyway, we drew upon this article and a couple more to give you the ways in which music can make you thinner, in better shape, and less of a stress case!
5. Music can make you move.
Music can act as a motivational device to get you moving around and doing things. But here's the thing–the study found that music only “works” as an agent of motivation when people can choose not only what kind of music they want to listen to, but what they will be doing while they're listening to it.
4. Music can not only make you move, but can make you burn more calories while you do it.
Some studies have found that listening to music while exercising can make you make you burn more calories; others have found that you don't necessarily burn more calories, just that you use the calories you burn more efficiently. Either way, it's critical to be listening to music that you've chosen, or at least that you like. And–something not entirely unexpected–people listening to uptempo, fast music burned more calories than people listening to slower music, even when they chose the music themselves.
3. Music releases anxiety.
Music can help you work through grief, and anger, and all kinds of other destructive emotions. One abstract study found that patients about to undergo an operation were less likely to be anxious if they listened to thirty minutes of music beforehand. And once again, in order for the anti-anxiety properties to work, the patients had to select the music themselves.
2. Music also can relieve pain.
Soft music provided to women during labor greatly decreases their need for pain medication. In this study, they divided women into two groups–one group listened to three hours of soft instrumental music while they were going into labor; one group didn't. The group listening to music reported less pain and needed less meds than the group that didn't listen to music. Pretty crazy, right?
1. Music can help with stress management.
Who among us isn't stressed out these days? And who among us couldn't stand to loosen up and relax a little? This study examined the effects of listening to classical music on stress. Volunteers were exposed to stressful conditions; one group listened to classical music afterwards, and one group didn't. The classical music listeners exhibited less physiological symptoms of stress than the non-music listeners.
So there you go! Five ways to make yourself thinner, healthier, less stressed out, and less dependent on pain meds–all via the magic of music!