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Science backed health benefits of music

Science backed health benefits of music

When you are down and you need a little boost of mood you put up your favorite song. This is because we all know that music is a free therapy and it helps us change our mood and feel better about everything. However, scientists decided to dig deeper into the benefits of music and see if there are any real, scientific health benefits of music. They came up with a lot of remarkable studies on the benefits of music!

1. From Ancient Times to the Latest Technologies

After humans started to walk straight and developed social skills they also began to create music. Of course, their instruments were nothing more than pieces of carved wood. This is how music started to play an important role in the history of humanity, especially because it was able to break the barriers of language – studies showed that humans around the world react the same way to music! For example, certain types of music can increase your focus, regardless your cultural background and personal beliefs. As humanity advanced, music also evolved. Nowadays, music is both an art and a technology, as musicians now spend their time in recording studio and mix different sounds in order to make music.

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Neuroscience lately focused on how music can change your brain and discovered that sound waves can increase babies’ speaking skills. But there is more, so let’s see all the science-baked health benefits of music.

2. Musicians Have a Different Brain Structure

When you want to find out how music changes your brain, you look at professional singers, who spend their days singing and recording music in their studio. And between those, they play at least one instrument. Researchers also looked at musicians and studied their brain. Studies found that a musician’s brain is a lot more symmetrical. This is because music helps develop the two hemispheres equally. At the same time, a musician’s brain is more active in areas which control coordination, motor controls and, as expected, the visual and auditory areas in the brain. A specific part of the brain, thecorpus callosum, is more developed in musicians. All these changes in the brain, allows musicians to have a better memory, which makes sense, if you think how many lyrics they can remember. Musicians can solve problems easier and are more creative than most people.

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3. Music Can Alter Your Mood

Without any study, each person knows that listening to his/her favorite song can make themself feel better. Now, scientists had proved this is a fact and showed us how is this possible. One of the biggest health benefits of music is the relief of stress. Music can relax you because it lowers the cortisol level in your blood. Cortisol is a hormone related to stress: the more cortisol you have in your blood, the more stressed you are. When you manage to lower your cortisol level, you are going to relax.

Another study showed that listening to music improves your mood. There are also studies which prove that listening to music and singing can make you feel more powerful and can increase your confidence.

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The studies also showed that any type of music has health benefits. One study showed that sad music can help you heal your broken heart. Listening to music is therapeutic, so if you feel low, listen to music!

4. Music Can Help You Increase Productivity

On the list of health benefits of music there is also the enhancement of work performance. A study made on non-professionals showed that office workers who are allowed to listen to music of their own choice are more creative and productive, compared to those who don’t listen to music.

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Featured photo credit: Albumarium via albumarium.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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