It lifts your mood, strengthens your body and provides a myriad of other lifestyle benefits. And now, instituting a regular fitness routine may also reduce your risk for hearing loss later in life. Researchers are pointing to the link between exercise and reduced risk for hearing loss thanks to a new study.
Preventing age-related hearing loss
From a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University, the results showed a clear link between low levels of physical activity and increased incidence of hearing loss. While not all cases of hearing loss are preventable, age-related hearing loss certainly could be. This type of hearing loss occurs naturally as the body ages along with the auditory system. Age-related hearing loss affects one in three adults over the age of 65. The tiny, sensitive nerve cells of the inner ear fall victim to the passage of time and no longer function like the bright and shiny receptors they once were.
Add it to the list
Hearing loss as a result of genetics or a traumatic event is certainly unpreventable, however, many incidences of hearing loss can be lessened by incorporating smart habits into your lifestyle. Noise induced hearing loss occurs when your ears are exposed to dangerously loud sounds repeatedly over periods of time. Carefully monitoring your listening environments and being thoughtful about the ways your ears are exposed to sound is one such way. While this won’t cancel out the effects of time on your body’s systems, it can help to reduce the effects of noise damage to those delicate nerve cells of the inner ear, alleviating some of the potential damage. This is an especially important area to focus attention on in this age of earbuds and personal technology devices.
Why exercise helps
It’s known that the proper functioning of the auditory system requires healthy blood flow. It may be simple enough to say that the increased blood flow as a result of a regular exercise regime is enough to lessen the risk of hearing loss.
Moreover, a regular exercise routine helps to maintain the current functioning of hearing. Researchers have found that when mice are left sedentary, the actual structures of their auditory systems begin to collapse. Active mice in this experiment showed no change in the many structures that support healthy hearing.
The best types of exercise
The best kind of exercise that you can do to prevent hearing loss is the activity that you’ll actually do. Don’t think that signing up for a gym membership in January and never actually visiting throughout the year is enough to protect you from a hearing loss diagnosis. More likely, a brief twenty-minute walk you’ll actually take daily is enough to bump up your odds of avoiding this diagnosis. Of course, the effects of exercise are so grand and so infectious that it’s a natural inclination to want to continue to challenge yourself. Perhaps year one is just the twenty-minute walk as your mind and body adjusts to this new habit. It often becomes an activity that is a daily essential, like brushing your teeth, so much so that the gym membership begins to look more and more appealing.
Keep a positive mindset
When you exercise, remember that you are rewarding your body, not punishing it. The mindset you take into your exercise routine can make all the difference. If you’re viewing your half hour or hour of exercise each day as a punishment, the motivation to continue such a habit decreases and you’ll probably find yourself making excuses to skip a session.
Instead, focus on all the positives around your activities. Your body feels better, your mind is more relaxed, and you may even be enjoying the strength and ability of your body in ways you never have before. This is because our bodies were built to move and exert effort, so in many ways, you’re simply giving your body its proper medicine.
There’s no end to its benefits
Additional benefits in that it is good to stabilize moods and induce post workout calm. This mental state can help you to tackle even the most difficult of situation. If hearing loss does develop or become a condition you’re dealing with, a regular exercise program is a healthy way to process the emotions and stress that comes along with hearing loss.
For more information on hearing loss or to schedule a consultation, contact us at Hearing Health Care Center today.