We all aware of the great benefits of exercising to our health. But with fast moving pace of modern life, there are so many things to do that there is not much time left for working and stretching out your body. The lack of exercising can results in several illness including diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes…Therefore, working out is highly recommended, especially for elders who have health issues and are in need of physical improvement.
Music therapy has become a popular treatment for many illnesses both mental and physical. The healing power of this therapy lies in the effectiveness of reducing some psychological damage that other therapy cannot be capable of. Good condition of mental state can then be reflected on the physical health, prevent any possible illnesses or help patients being more positive in life.
Because of the benefits of exercising and music, there is suggestion of combining both activities to produce the best results for health. For elders, the combination is useful method in psychological and physical cure, helps elders with illnesses achieve the positive medical results or helps them prevent any health issues in the future.
Introducing the Concept of “Exercise to Music” (ETM)
In short, Exercise to Music is workout class or group designed by instructors applying music to work out exercising. Under the influence of music with rhythm and beat, the exercising atmosphere is always fun, exciting and stress-relieving. Participants are encouraged to boost body movement to burn calories, enhance flexibility and metabolism. “Exercise to Music” method is preferred because it’s fun and exciting, distracts joiners from “body awareness”. The methods are available for any ages, but the exercises for elders are gentler and mostly focus on enjoyment. Therefore, ETM is suggested by therapists and doctors for seniors to take initiative actions for their health.
Below are benefits for older adults when exercising to music.
Enhancing Mood and Self-esteem
EMT classes can kick off with various types, from rumba to body jump, aerobic or fitness dancing. The music used in those classes must go along with the lessons, varying from modern music, hip hop to salsa or tango. The advantage of EMT classes is that the activities are often operated in group in order to create exciting mood and enhance self-esteem of participants.
Other good sides about EMT for adults are its versatility and flexibility in teaching and exercising. These classes focus mainly on mood and people connection rather than physical training with heavy exercises. Trainers will instruct simple dance steps or movement that is gentle enough for seniors to keep up with, help prevent or cure any dementia symptoms in advance. The learning process is not only good for brain activities but also encourage seniors to adapt new knowledge, enhancing the sense of well-being. Seniors who are usually shy and hesitate about workout and fitness training will have a chance to express themselves to music, make friends with other mates and have hobby to keep them away from depression.
The working out with music is usually arranged in groups, creating the sense of community; strengthening the bond with others through sharing experience. Having workout exercises can become a hobby for seniors that they can practice at home, decrease lonely time and boredom which are usually aroused when seniors have too much time on their own. Their mood, therefore, is brighter with EMT activities.
When exercising, body produces a hormone called endorphins which is able to decrease the sense of pain, lose muscle intense and maximize the cardiovascular systems in elders.
While music can ease their mind, wipe away stress and depression, body movement does well for their physical health. Since EMT requires the combination between mind and body in most of the cases, seniors’ body will change to adapt new pace of working, burn calories and boost circulatory systems, prevent strokes and diabetes in later age.
Not only easing the pain, working out with music can increase seniors’ endurance. While following workout moves under workout tracks, seniors’ body is trained to improve physical performance from time to time. The music plays the role of distracting elders from tiredness and they can go through the training with joy and happiness.
The recovery rate is also speeded up, helps elders’ body recover faster. Those who had surgery are advised to take EMT for after surgery healing process. Not only slow music is believed to provide relaxation and ease in mind, any kind of music can contribute to physical healing process.
Both body exercises and music have ability to put seniors in better sleep. Since most of elders have trouble with insomnia; EMT will improve seniors’ sleep quality.
Therapy for Disable/After-surgery Patients
Some specific EMT activities are designed for elderly patients to recover better. EMT can be therapy method for elders who in recovery process after surgeries or disable ones after stroke. The exercises are applied in the final stages of recovery where elder patients need physical rehabilitation. Exercises are specialized for medical purposes rather than working out. The music can enhance their mood, distract elders from body awareness, reduce the pain and stimulate body movement. Good music plays an important role in remaining positive mind, lifting up seniors’ mood in the long painful recovery treatment. In those cases, positive, soft and classical music are usually more beneficial. Seniors who use EMT in treatment are less likely to use medicines and recovery faster than others.