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How Playing an Instrument Boosts Your Health

Man playing guitar

Learning to play an instrument does more for you than just gaining a new skill or hobby. It can also improve your health. Numerous studies have shown how playing an instrument reduces stress and improves your state of mind. Here’s a list health benefits of learning to play an instrument.

Improve Your Mood

There’s a reason your favorite song always puts a smile on your face. The American Psychological Association found that music reduces your brain’s production of cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress and anxiety.

Treat Pain and Depression

In many cases, music therapy can actually lessen chronic depression symptoms for children and adults. It also helps to alleviate pain in patients after certain types of surgery, and in people with chronic pain disorders like fibromyalgia.

Boost Your Immune System

Music isn’t just good for your mental health; it also makes your body stronger. Medical Daily reported that listening to and playing music increases the body’s production of disease-fighting cells. This makes your immune system more effective against many types of bacteria and viruses.

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Lower Your Blood Pressure

Researchers from the Netherlands found that a person’s brain behaves similarly when playing an instrument as it does when exercising. This means musicians who play regularly receive heart-health benefits that are similar to those they’d get from cardio exercise, including lower blood pressure and a slower resting heart rate.

Slow Brain Aging

Playing an instrument may ultimately help you remain sharper later in life. In a study by Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, amateur musicians who practiced for at least 10 years throughout their lifetimes outperformed their peers when measured on their concentration skills, working memory and language fluency.

What is your favorite type of music? Is there an instrument you want to learn to learn to play?

Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.

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WellTuned provides inspiration and practical advice for healthy living.
WellTuned does not offer medical advice. Any personal health questions should be addressed to your doctor.

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