Everyone knows that exercise is important for your overall health and well being. Staying active helps you maintain a healthy body weight, reduces your risk of diabetes, improves bone health and mobility, and helps you manage your heart health. Did you know that physical activity is also linked to your hearing health? Recent research shows a possible link between exercise and a reduced risk for hearing loss.
Testing Exercise and Hearing
A recent study examined the link between exercise and hearing, and looked closely at the effects of lack of exercise in mice. During the study, it was found that mice who didn’t get enough exercise had extensive damage to the cochlea, or inner ear, that’s responsible for hearing. The delicate hair cells that sense sound waves, and translate these sounds into electrical signals that the brain can understand, weren’t very healthy in the lethargic mice. Not only that, but the blood cells that regulate blood flow to the ears and bring the oxygen the ears need to be healthy, weren’t very healthy, and the ears weren’t getting enough oxygen to provide clear hearing.
The Effects of Exercise
The study also looked at mice who exercised frequently, and the findings were astonishing. Mice who didn’t exercise had a 20% risk of hearing loss as they aged, but the mice who exercised had only a 5% chance of hearing loss! Exercise is clearly just as important for your ears as it is for your heart. Exercise can keep a steady flow of healthy blood to your ears, and you’ll be far less likely to suffer damage to the inner ears. With healthy ears, you’ll lower your risk of hearing loss, and enjoy clear hearing as you age.
Heart Health and Your Ears
Exercise affects the ears by promoting great cardiovascular health. Having a healthy heart keeps the body healthy, and all your organs and muscles need oxygen to stay healthy. The oxygen is carried in the blood, so staying active and improving the health of your veins, arteries, and heart, will have benefits to every part of your body, including your ears. When you don’t exercise, your resting heart rate doesn’t keep blood pumping to all the far away areas of your body, such as your ears. Exercise strengthens the heart, and promotes a strong heart that can effortlessly pump blood throughout the body.
As we age, getting enough exercise is more important than ever before. The body starts to slow down, cells don’t reproduce as fast, and there’s a reduction in fluid in the body, including fluid in the bloodstream. Consistent exercise, even for a few short minutes every day, will promote heart health, keep the blood flowing to all the distant parts of the body, and keep you healthy even though less cells are being produced.
Exercise for Your Ears
There’s no specific exercise you need to do to have healthy hearing. What’s important is that you exercise a few times every week, and get your heart pumping. You can go for a walk, play with your grandchildren in the park, ride your stationary bike, or join a Pilates class. As long as you are exercising your heart, and slightly increasing your heart rate during the exercise, you will enjoy the benefits of a healthy heart and healthy ears.
Whatever exercise you choose, settle on something you like doing, and make it a part of your weekly habits. Exercise for a around 20 minutes at a time, at least three times per week. Use large muscle movements by stretching, and wake up your body from the tips of your toes to the top of your head. Engaging your whole body will keep these muscles active and healthy, and promote healthy blood flow throughout the body.
My Hearing Centers
At My Hearing Centers, we know all about ear health. If you feel as though you’re not hearing as well as you used to, visit us for a hearing test and learn more about the ways you can promote hearing health, and look after your ears. If you have hearing loss, we’ll find the perfect hearing device to match your needs. Along with regular exercise, these devices will keep your ears healthy, and help you hear all the sounds around you.