Dropping Blood Pressure to a Health Level – The Best Music for Your Heart
Swedish pop group Abba is still amazingly popular after nearly 50 years, thanks in part to the success of 2008’s movie Mamma Mia!
But do the Swedish supergroup’s songs have the best beat for a healthy heart?
The answer will surprise you.
A study from Germany has the answer. It was published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International. Now, admittedly it was only a small study, but it’s worth taking seriously because it stands on the shoulders of giants. It’s just the latest in a long line of research that proves how good music is for your physical health.
For this study, the researchers split 120 people into two groups (all of them with good hearts and no blood pressure problems, half under 50 and half over 50 years of age). One group listened to music for 25 minutes per session and half got to lie down in silence.
The music group was split into three smaller groups. One got to enjoy Mozart’s Symphony No 40 in g minor, one got to wave an imaginary bat on to Johann Strauss, and one got to mime along (presumably) to a selection of Abba hits.
The results were interesting:
- Mozart lowered systolic blood pressure by 4.7 mmHg, Strauss by 3.7 mmHg, and Abba by virtually nothing. (Sorry Abba fans.)
- Mozart lowered diastolic blood pressure by 2.1 mmHg, Strauss by 2.9 mmHg, and Abba had little effect again. (Mamma Mia! Another surprise.)
- The group that rested in silence got some benefit, but not as much as the music group.
- The Mozart and Strauss listeners had lower heart rates than the others, and they dropped them by 5.6 beats per minute (BPM) (Mozart), and 4.7 BPM (Strauss).
- Mozart and Strauss were also good at lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol (especially in men). As cortisol raises blood pressure, this is also good news.
It’s interesting to note that what the people in the study normally chose to listen to didn’t affect their results. That’s important because it means that even if you don’t enjoy classical music it can still help your heart.
So why was the classical music better for blood pressure?
As different as you might think classical and pop songs are, the scientists noted that all three still had aspects to them that were repetitive and catchy, so they think that lyrics might make all the difference.
Previous research has shown that having any lyrics in a song gives our brains more work to do, so even nice, happy lyrics take some cognitive effort to process. For maximum peace of mind (and lower blood pressure) you’re better off listening to happy music with no words at all.
So, if you suffer from high blood pressure, maybe you should buy Abba’s entire back catalogue for karaoke and just listen to the instrumental tracks without singing along?
Dropping Blood Pressure to a Health Level – This Healthy Vegetable Causes High Blood Pressure
A new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School points the finger at this vegetable and accuses it of potentially doing more harm than good.
And to muddy the waters even more, they also found that one of the least healthy ways of preparing this vegetable DIDN’T seem to raise blood pressure.
The authors already knew that people who took potassium supplements had lower blood pressure than their peers did. They also knew that high glycemic carbohydrates (like potatoes) can increase blood pressure.
So, they looked back over 3 previous studies that tracked 187,453 people. They knew their potato intakes, and which of them had hypertension.
They found that people who ate less than one portion of potatoes per month had the lowest risk, while those who ate four or more portions per week had the highest risk.
It didn’t matter if they smoked or not, were obese or not, or did exercise or not. The results were still the same. And what they ate and drank didn’t seem to make any difference either. They could have been drinkers or abstainers, vegetarians or meat eaters. In all cases, more potatoes meant higher blood pressure.
But here’s a couple of odd things…
- Four or more weekly servings of baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes increased the blood pressure risk for women, but not for men.
- French fries increased everyone’s risk, but potato chips didn’t. Which seems weird considering that they’re virtually the same thing. Both are deep-fried and both are salty.
It would be nice to think that we can all eat potato chips every day without suffering any health problems, but let’s hold back until the scientists can get to the bottom of what’s going on with this strange result.
There’s obviously more work to be done in figuring out exactly what’s going on, because something clearly is.
Until that happens, try and stay at three or fewer portions of potatoes per week (including potato chips) just to be on the safe side.
And you could also try our excellent blood pressure lowering exercises for dropping blood pressure to a healthy level. They’ve been shown to cut blood pressure to below 120/80 – no matter how many potatoes you like to eat…
Dropping Blood Pressure to a Health Level – Go Green and Avoid High Blood Pressure
Do you get bored by the usual blood pressure advice?
It’s often about doing more exercise and watching what you eat, and after a while it can get pretty monotonous.
Thankfully there’s a new Australian study that doesn’t involve either of those things. It just suggests that you should try doing something which is fun, free and easy (depending on where you live).
In June 2016, Australian researchers surveyed 1,538 Brisbane residents to find out whether the amount of time which humans spend in green spaces could be good for their overall health.
They found that people who spent at least half an hour in an urban forest or park once a week were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure than people who didn’t. They also noticed that the more time they spent outdoors, the greater the health benefits.
For every hundred park visitors there were nine fewer cases of high blood pressure compared to their peers who stayed away.
These benefits were the same for everyone, regardless of their body mass index, age, gender, income, and education.
The people who spent the longest time in green spaces had the lowest blood pressure risks, and it didn’t even matter whether they lived near simple urban parks or dense forests, they still got the benefits. It seems that as far as your heart is concerned, even a little bit of green is good for you.
A walk in your local park is just as healthy as a hike in a rainforest.
And there were other benefits too. Park-goers had fewer instances of depression, more community spirit and more positive behaviors in general. It looks like they were right when they called it “the great outdoors”.
But, a word of warning. You won’t get all of the good effects if you walk about wearing earphones and staring at your phone with your head down. You have to experience green spaces with all your senses to get the most out of them. Otherwise, you might as well stay at home.
For more ideas about dropping blood pressure to a healthy level, watch this video – Lower Your Blood Pressure Instantly in Minutes by more than 20 points – Healthy Me
This post is from the High Blood Pressure Exercise Program. It was made by Christian Goodman Blue Heron health news that has been recognized as one of the top quality national health information websites.
This program will provide you the natural high blood pressure treatments, natural recipes to cook healthy meals and useful strategies to build a healthy diet with the aim to help you to maintain, stabilize and get your blood pressure down in minutes permanently and naturally.
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