Exercise your way to Better Hearing!

cardio exerciseIt’s no secret that exercise is beneficial to our overall health, but unfortunately, it is all too often neglected. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that only about twenty percent of the American population gets adequate amounts of exercise. While we know that a lack of activity can be detrimental to our health, many don’t realize that it can also be detrimental to our hearing health as well.

Why is Hearing Health So Important?

Many individuals who have never experienced a problem with hearing loss, take their hearing for granted. But the fact is, this condition can be devastating. With over 48 million Americans already suffering from some form of hearing impairment, we don’t ever want to take it lightly. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on both the emotional and mental health of those who experience it.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) conducted a study on untreated hearing loss. Their results showed that individuals with untreated hearing loss were more likely to be anxious, depressed or paranoid. They reported that hearing loss was a factor in a reduced quality of life perception in the elderly. There is also a link between untreated hearing loss and early onset dementia; so yes, hearing health is important and something we don’t want to ignore.

How does Exercise Help?

As people age, they expect that they will lose some of their ability to hear. Researchers have suggested that this loss of hearing could be directly related to an individual’s heart health. Cardiovascular health is often a concern in the elderly population and could be the correlation to hearing loss. If the heart is not healthy and not pumping blood as efficiently, your ears suffer.

Our ears are extremely sensitive to blood flow. Our auditory system requires a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients. When the heart isn’t healthy, blood flow is compromised which can cause damage to the tiny capillaries in the auditory system. This is where exercise becomes a contributing factor.

When individuals get adequate amounts of cardiovascular exercise, their heart is able to pump more efficiently. This means that not only does the rest of the body benefit from the increased oxygen supply, but our auditory system as well. This study also determined that an individual in their 50’s who is in good physical shape has the ability to hear just as well as an individual in their 30’s.

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

While regular exercise is recommended for every age group, the older an individual is, the more important it is to maintain cardiovascular fitness. The U.S. Surgeon General recommends a minimum of 20 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at least five days per week. Consistent cardiovascular exercise will have a positive effect on both hearing health as well as overall health.

Other Benefits of Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise can help to stave off age related hearing loss; it can also have these other health benefits as well:

  • Improves Your Mood
  • Improves Your Mental Acuity
  • Helps Stave off the Aging Process
  • Helps Your Skin
  • Helps with Weight Loss
  • Easier Recovery After Illnesses

It doesn’t take much to get started on the path to better hearing health – just get up and go for a walk! Who knew that hearing protection could be so easy?

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