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Have you ever noticed that people in gyms or running around the park, often work out while listening to music? And no, it’s not just because it’s boring pounding away by yourself. Having a beat to walk or run to, makes it easier to keep on going at a steady pace.

If you listen to music while walking, I bet you will find that you not only walk further but also at a faster speed (assuming the music is not a soothing melody). It has previously been noted that walking speed can be used as an indicator for cognitive decline and well-being. So regularly  ensuring you walk at a faster rate, is a good means to help maintain cognition.


Scientists have now discovered that people with neurological conditions associated with impair walking or mobility, such as Parkinson’s disease, can be helped by using music. It may be soon that music will become a regular part of physical therapy.


Physical exercise is one of the four key components to maintaining a healthy and fit brain and sadly many of us simply don’t exercise enough. Thirty minutes is all it takes.


So, simply putting some music on while exercising may help you to overcome some of that inertia. Not only will you enjoy the music that you are listening to, you are beefing up your brain to perform better for you over the rest of the day.


What is your favourite music to exercise to?


Ref: Ervin Sejdić, Yingying Fu, Alison Pak, Jillian A. Fairley, Tom Chau. The Effects of Rhythmic Sensory Cues on the Temporal Dynamics of Human Gait. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (8): e43104 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0043104

Dr Jenny Brockis

Dr Jenny Brockis is a medical practitioner and internationally board-certified lifestyle medicine physician, workplace health and wellbeing consultant, podcaster, keynote speaker and best-selling author. Her new book 'Thriving Mind: How to Cultivate a Good Life' (Wiley) is available online and at all good bookstores.

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