Exercise is better than no exercise at all; however, “brisk” exercise is particularly better for heart and brain health. Brisk walks increase blood flow to the brain, as well as lead to the release of hormone, BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor. This hormone is responsible for brain cell production. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, another benefit to brisk walking is living longer. 50,000 British walkers who claimed to walk at a quicker pace, lived on average 24% longer than those who claimed to walk slower.
Can up-beat music help promote these “brisk” walks? One problem that people often face with “brisk walking,” is not knowing what “fast enough” is. The Trust Me I’m a Doctor team defined brisk walking to be walking at around 100 paces a minute. Walking to songs like Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira and Dancing Queen by Abba can help achieve and maintain this pace. In a five-week experiment, 24 volunteers were split up into two groups. The first group was given pedometers and told to reach 10,000 steps a day. The second group was told to walk briskly for 30 minutes while listening to music that was chosen by the doctors. There were positive changes in both groups, however, there were bigger improvements to the second group that walked briskly to the music. The brisk walkers saw greater drops in blood pressure and body fat.