Music could make you fitter without exercising

Listening to your favourite pieces could improve the health of your heart even without doing any exercise, according to a new study.

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Patients with heart disease were divided into three groups: one group was enrolled in exercise classes, another was enrolled in the same class but told to listen to music, and a third group was prescribed music alone without any exercise.

At the end of the trial, patients who had listened to music while exercising increased their heart function by 39%, but, remarkably, those who had done no exercise at all improved their heart function by 19% - simply by listening to their favourite tunes.

The report, presented at the European Society of Cariology's annual congress, cited the release of endorphins as the cause of the changes in heart functionality. Other studies have highlighted classical music as being the most 'joyful', and music without lyrics is thought to be the most effective.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Professor Delijanin Ilic, lead investigator from the institute of cardiology at University of Nis, Serbia, said: "When we listen to music we like, then endorphins are released from the brain and this improves our vascular health. There is no 'best music' for everyone - what matters is what the person likes and makes them happy."

Although the study was carried out on patients suffering from heart disease, Professor Ilic believes the findings are likely to apply to a wider population.

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