The radio is a seemingly humble invention these days. With spaceships and orbiting satellites, simple radio seems to be overwhelmingly boring. It remains one of the pieces of technology that we most connect with regularly though. Music and news reach us in our cars or homes without us needing to be in front of the computer or TV and ensure we can get the things done that need doing. It doesn’t hurt that we can connect to the radio on the move while running or exercising either. The voices of the radio can be companions through the quiet hours, but more often than not the music is what is drawing our attention. Music speaks to a primal part of the human spirit and seems almost magical in its capabilities. These capabilities are why there is very little advice as good as someone telling you to keep the radio playing. Admittedly, not everyone knows all the potential benefits they could be getting.
A lot of us find ourselves moving to the beat of music more often than we’d like to admit. It doesn’t matter whether we like the song or not. Something about the beat just makes us start syncing our movements to it without us even noticing. As frustrating as it is, that benefit is incredibly good for those trying to improve their health with exercise. Listening to music, whether on an MP3 player or the radio, helps to motivate you to move. The right kind of music provides an energy boost that helps to push you forward and beyond what you might be capable of without it. This physically extends to the fact that many studies show that people listening to music have increased physical performance. The music helps them pace themselves as well as motivating them. Harnessing this combination effect doesn’t take anything more than making sure you’re tuning in while exercising. Admittedly, you may need to go through a little trial and error to find the right station or genre for your exercise routine.
An interesting yet subtle benefit to music is that it seems to actually boost memory. This seems to fly in the face of all the people who claim eating a particular supplement or using a particular app will help you, but in truth, music seems more effective. The reason for this is that music we actively enjoy stimulates our brain and triggers the reward centers. Triggering this particular area of our mind ends up increasing our overall motivation. Motivation is key to keeping ourselves on any task we’ve set before ourselves and has a way of focusing us as well. This focus, in turn, keeps our brains active and healthy. Several studies have shown the music appear to enhance memory functions within the mind in such a way that it aids studying. Others studies have given a hint that this boost may help reduce the effects of dementia as well. There are no radio stations yet that claim to know the exact mix of music to boost your memory, but it may not matter so much as making sure you’re listening to something.
The benefits to your mind don’t stop at a boost to memory. Music is often considered a go-to option for people looking to help improve their mood for a reason. Remember that music we like in turn triggers the reward centers of the brain. That releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which is strongly associated with mood. Increasing levels through enjoyable activities in turn help to improve overall mood and can help counteract depression and anxiety disorders. This is a particularly important thing to note given how prevalent and debilitating such issues can end up being when unchecked. Medication can help, yes, but lifestyle is also an important part of regulating any mood disorder. Strangely enough, even fast-paced and driving music is capable of reducing your anxiety levels as long as it is something you like. Music’s ability to touch us and affect us is easily harnessed in so many ways that it makes it strange that anyone would turn off their source of music for anything other than sleep.
The radio remains a good way to ensure you’ve got access to your favorite kinds of music. These days there is far more than the standard radio you get in your car though. Satellite and internet radio are making it easy to get stations of your specific favorite genre rather than dealing with a larger mix. That’s all the more reason to embrace the healing and invigorating power of music.