No matter what type of music you like – pop, blues, oldies, Broadway musicals or a wide range of other musical styles, forget humming or tapping your fingers. Learn the lyrics to your favorite melodies, and then sing out loud – there may be health benefits waiting.
Research is now finding that when you sing to whatever tune is on your mind, the act of singing out loud can be good for your health and as a bonus, help improve the aging process.
Have you noticed some professional organizations and senior groups include an opening song or two at their meetings? Don’t let the fun of the moment kid you – these groups not only see singing as an upbeat start to a meeting, they may know that singing has hidden health benefits.
Sing – Out Loud and Often!
Not so long ago making music and other creative endeavors were primarily considered entertainment mediums and not potentially beneficial for your health.
If you don’t belong to a group that sings, should you join a choir? You could, but science is finding that many creative stimulus actions like singing or creating art, where the goal is self-expression may also give you hidden health benefits. New research is suggesting that activities involving music can also give you sustained memories, and that’s good for your health and well-being.
Singing is considered so good for you that a leading United Kingdom heart health organization, Heart Research UK, has started a campaign to encourage more people to join the choir. They say it’s a terrific workout for the lungs as well as the heart.
Leading researchers in Sweden have conducted tests to explore the possible health benefits of singing. They found that not only is it good for your breathing, singing is effective as a stress reliever.
Singing Stimulates the Brain
How does singing help brain health? It’s somewhat of a mystery as to how exactly the creative process works on the brain. But scientists have found evidence that creative activities such as singing engage or ‘light up” many parts of the brain during the process of memorizing lyrics and melodies.
When you pull out a song from your memory bank and sing along with the music you’re doing your health a favor. When you sing along with a song you’ll have to remember several refrains and perhaps many choruses that were tucked away in storage in your brain. During the act of pulling out a song and singing it, research says you are stimulating parts of the brain that may not get a daily workout. This is a potential boon for the neural pathways that keep the brain healthy and fit.
Research has been known to compare remembering a song and how it impacts memory this way – singing is kind of like candy for the brain. There is even more good news that can be linked to singing. The good feelings you have when you are singing a song, whether in the shower or in a choir, are not just emotionally based.
Your body is sending out hormones that add to a sense of well-being and calm. Beyond the emotional connections and the good vibes of singing a favorite song, the act of retrieving the intricate parts of a song, is an essentially good workout for the brain. So remember, the next time you sing out loud, there are with rewards built-in to the songs you sing, no matter how off tune you may be.
Elvis has Left the Building
Most of us know that our brains need to be challenged every day. We need to stimulate our mind with a variety of experiences, especially as we age. Joining groups that engage in the creative process is a great way to help keep your brain fit and happy. Like any muscle, the brain needs regular exercise to remain strong.
Singing is a great way to keep your brain healthy and fit and you can sing, free of charge, when you want wherever you go, anytime of the day. Being creative can be a rewarding experience. As you think about keeping yourself fit and healthy, don’t forget to relax and have fun.
Research has found that having fun while giving your brain a healthy workout – like you do when you sing, increases retention and utilization of the information processed. If you like the song, you’re much more likely to remember it long-term. Some groups even go that extra step when they connect singing with health.
Singing, no matter if you sing alone or with a group, is a great way to have fun by memorizing music and possibly reaping the rewards of a healthier tomorrow.