Dr Michael Mosley says one activity can help tackle depression and improve memory

By Staff 6 Min Read

Dr Michael Mosley has shared an unusual activity that can have a huge impact on your health – including helping to tackle depression, improving memory and reducing chronic inflammation

Dr Michael Mosley has highlighted an activity that can have a profound effect on health, including combating depression, boosting memory and reducing chronic inflammation.

The medical expert, famed for his 5:2 and Fast 800 diet plans, suggests this method is unconventional in improving health, yet its benefits are backed by science. Speaking on his BBC Podcast, Dr Mosley extolled the virtues of music, encouraging people to take up playing an instrument at any age. He explained: “There is certainly good evidence that playing a musical instrument however badly can improve mental health. In a recent study, 45 men and women who were using mental health services were randomly assigned to either 90 minutes a week playing the drums or a control group.”

He revealed the study’s findings: “After 10 weeks, there was a significant fall in the drum players, levels of anxiety and depression and even more impressively, these effects were maintained for three months after the sessions finished.” Dr Mosley also pointed out the physical health benefits: “Interestingly, many mental health conditions are now thought to be linked to levels of chronic inflammation in the body. So in this study, the researchers also measured markers of inflammation like interleukin four along with improvements in mood. These markers also improved but only in the drum players.”

Dr Sofia Seinfeld, a researcher from the Open University in Catalonia, recently appeared on a show to explain why it’s never too late to pick up an instrument. She highlighted how playing music can boost your brainpower by stimulating areas linked to motor coordination and emotional processing, reports Gloucestershire Live.

In one of her studies, Dr Seinfeld worked with groups of 20 participants aged between 60 and 85 who had never played the piano but were keen to learn. They were given lessons and asked to practice for 45 minutes each day. Their progress was then compared to those engaging in other activities such as painting, computer lessons or sports.

She explained: “We took cognitive measures before the study and after the study in order to see what specific benefits music could have compared to leisure activities and both groups showed improvements in their cognitive functions. But musical training produced significantly higher improvements in executive functions, divided attention and in inventory control, these are skills that we normally require in our everyday life, for example, to plan our day or when we are cooking and we have to follow a recipe.

“The type of cognitive abilities that music enhances are cognitive functions that we also use in our everyday life activities. And also we also found that it improved the mood of the participants and their emotional state. “.

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