5 Reasons Why Walking With Music Is Good For Your Health

by neonmusic

8th September, 2023

5 Reasons Why Walking With Music Is Good For Your Health

Stress and sedentary lifestyles are major contributors to our ill health and rising levels of chronic disease, making movement more important to improving overall wellness. For most, walking is an easy form of exercise that can help combat the effects of prolonged sitting and stress. People of all age groups and activity levels can receive positive benefits from walking, but have you ever wondered if there’s a way to make your walks more beneficial to your health? It is as simple as adding music to your regimen. 

Walking with music is great for your health – but is walking 4 miles a day good? When combined with music, walking becomes a more effective form of movement, which increases its health benefits. Whether you’re exploring nature on a hike or simply walking your neighborhood, accompanying walking with music can have profound effects on physical and mental wellness. Let’s explore the five reasons why walking with music is good for your health and why you should include music in your physical routines. 

The Power of Music on Your Health

The effects of music on our moods and overall well-being are not a recent phenomenon. For centuries, music has had therapeutic effects on both our mental and physical health. Science today is still uncovering the various ways music can positively influence human health. Below are some of the main ways music can impact us:

  • Stress Reduction/Relaxation: Listening to music can reduce stress and induce relaxation. Calming music can trigger the release of cortisol, a stress-reducing hormone, while also decreasing the production of stress-inducing hormones. Slow-tempo music is particularly effective, but listening to music can decrease blood pressure and heart rate. It also eases muscle tension, which can be supportive, especially during exercise. 
  • Mood Enhancement: Music can directly impact the way we feel and how we emotionally respond to situations and circumstances. For this reason, music is often used as a therapy method for individuals struggling with emotional challenges. Music affects our overall well-being due to the way it stimulates the release of the “pleasure” neurotransmitter response, dopamine. Music is so powerful for our psyche; it can help alleviate the side effects of emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. 
  • Cognitive Benefits: Science has shown that listening to music actively engages multiple regions of the brain. This leads to increased neural connections and can have a positive impact on problem-solving, memory, and attention. Music has such a powerful impact it’s used as therapy for individuals with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It can improve cognitive abilities and improve overall quality of life. 
  • Pain Management: It may be hard to imagine, but listening to music has been shown to help reduce the perception of pain. When listening to music, our brain releases endorphins. This dump of ‘happy hormones’ can be especially helpful during intense workouts or for those who experience chronic pain. Music is commonly used for pain management therapies, such as for postoperative recovery, as it can help reduce reliance on pain medications.
  • Sleep Improvement: Those who struggle with maintaining good quality sleep would benefit greatly from listening to music. Listening to calming music before bed helps relax the mind, reduce racing thoughts, and make it easier to fall asleep—and stay asleep. Soft, soothing melodies help lower heart rates, this helps the body enter a greater state of relaxation, contributing to overall better sleep quality. 
  • Enhanced Physical Performance: It’s been shown that upbeat and energetic music can be a contributing factor in increasing endurance during intense workouts. The rhythmic qualities music contributes to exercise routines not only help make the process more enjoyable but it’s shown to enhance coordination. These factors help make music a vital role in physical rehabilitation and motor skills development.  

5 Benefits of Walking with Music 

Music can have a multifaceted impact on our overall health and well-being. It can affect both the body and the mind. Whether music is used for relaxation and mood enhancement or pain management and other restorative therapies utilized by healthcare professionals, music is a positive addition to any wellness routine. 

With the infinite ways that music can impact us, it’s no surprise that when paired with walking, it produces greater benefits. Let’s explore five of the ways walking with music benefits our health:

Enhanced Cardiovascular Health

The heart resides at the center of our circulatory system. It is responsible for pumping blood, delivering nutrients, and providing oxygen throughout our bodies. We already know that walking is a wonderful exercise for the cardiovascular system–but when paired with music, the benefits are far greater.

Walking to the beat of music
Walking to the beat of music

Studies have shown that walking to the beat of music can lead to increased heart rate variability and improved circulation. This type of synchronization challenges the heart with a greater, more efficient cardiovascular workout, helping improve cardiovascular health over time. Walking while listening to music can contribute to the reduction of heart disease risk while lowering blood pressure. 

Increased Motivation and Endurance

We’ve all hit a plateau when it comes to working out, at some point, our motivation for physical activity becomes strained. When this kind of fatigue sets in, music can be a greater asset in inspiring our motivation to move. Music that feels upbeat and infectious helps us maintain an energetic, consistent rhythm, improving endurance as well. It can become an aid in shifting your focus away from your energetic efforts, making walks seem shorter and more enjoyable.

Mood Enhancement and Stress Reduction

The connection between our mind and body is powerful, and as discussed previously, music has a profound impact on this connection. Music directly affects our emotions, triggering dopamine release and signaling pleasure and reward. This can almost immediately uplift your mood and alleviate stress. Pairing music with a dedicated walking routine provides an escape from the demands of daily life, allowing you to unwind and focus. The rhythm and melodies of music can transport you into a more positive mental state, making walks a truly therapeutic experience.

Cognitive Stimulation

Walking is equally beneficial for the brain as it is for the body. Regular exercise has been linked to greater cognitive benefits such as improved memory and creativity. Listening to music while walking introduces cognitive stimulation alongside physical movement. When coordinating your steps to the rhythm of music, the brain is engaged in different areas. This fosters new neural connections and can reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Including music on your walks is not only good exercise for your body, but it gives your brain a healthy boost as well. 

Personalized and Enjoyable Workout

Music is an entirely personal experience, and including it during workouts or walks provides an element of personalization to your movement. We all pick music that’s most enjoyable to our individual selves, so when included while walking, it helps make working out feel less like a chore. By creating a playlist of all your favorite music, walking becomes a task that’s looked forward to rather than a dreaded task. This can create positive associations between exercise and music, which, over time, can foster healthier habits that are easier to stick to. 

Walking + Music: Your New Combo for Better Health

Listening to your favorite songs or including new music in your playlist can add dimension and anticipation to your workouts. Walking with music offers many science-tested health benefits, including better cardiovascular health, improved mood and motivation, cognitive stimulation, and so much more. So, next time you lace up your shoes for a stroll, consider bringing along your favorite tunes; it’s a small step that can lead to significant, positive changes in your health and happiness.

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