The Drums of Youth
Many people consider the drumming lifestyle to be one of rebellion and impulsive life choices. Drummers of any band have a bad reputation of being the crazy, risk taking animal that the Muppets have declared them to be. However drummers seem to know something that most others don’t: the key to a healthy elongated existence. Drumming can have benefits equal to that of extreme sports, while simultaneously refining the mind, body, and spirit. With people like Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones still drumming at the lively age of 79, and an orchestral drummer by the name of Viola Smith living and rocking out until her passing at the age of 107, there must be something that non drummers are simply missing out on- a long, healthy, and happy life.
To first understand drumming’s physical benefits as a means of exercise, it’s important to look first at the benefits of exercising alone. Everyone understands that exercise is healthy and good for the body, but to understand more clearly, Frank J. Penedo goes into extreme detail in his study “Exercise and Well Being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity.” Through examining multiple subjects and data, Penedo concludes, along with Jason Dahn, that “physical inactivity doubles health risks,” and “such inactivity during middle age appears to shorten the lifespan.” It has a clear benefit and association with extended life expectancy and health. Exercise on its own is able to keep one’s body at peak performance, or at least in better shape than no activity. It can, as Penedo states, reduce risks for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and arthritis in later years, and these are merely the physical benefits associated with exercise.
Physical activity in later years also assists in preserving the mind and mental state of individuals. A lack of activity or exercise can cause slower reactions and response times as well as lead to decreased motor coordination. In a study performed by Marika Berchicci et al titled “Benefits of Physical Exercise on the Aging Brain,” it was found that physical exercise is particularly important from middle age onwards when it comes to this metal preservation aspect. Berchicci states that “in middle-aged and older individuals, moderate-to-high levels of physical exercise has beneficial effects on the planning and execution of a response.” It is clear that continued and consistent activity can result in prolonged mental alertness and proficiency in addition to preserving motor skills by activating the prefrontal cortex, as Berchicci has concluded.
The benefits of exercise have been explored, it’s easier to understand how physical activity, especially in those of older ages, can help to facilitate a healthier and in some cases elongated lifestyle. Now it is possible to look onto drumming and become aware of just how physically and mentally demanding it truly is. Several studies, such as those by Rosie Perkins and De La Rue explore the physical side of drumming and are able to conclude just how demanding it truly is, comparing it to that of equally demanding sports and other means of exercise. With drumming being compared this way, it makes the claim that drumming leads to a longer life that much more understandable and real.
Berchicci, Marika. “Benefits of Physical Exercise on the Aging Brain: The Role of the Prefrontal Cortex.” 2013. https://bit.ly/3vLcyyH
De La Rue, S. E. “Energy Expenditure in Rock/ Pop Drumming.” 2013. https://bit.ly/39qRuVl
Penedo, Frank J. “Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity.” 2005. https://bit.ly/2QUyQir