Whether listening to an amazing drum solo or playing a rhythm on your own djembe, bongos or cajon drum, drumming is one activity that just makes us feel good. Many people get lost in the rhythm of a song, finding inspiration in the beat that leads to air drumming or even dancing along, while others find the challenge of mastering a beat to be the ultimate in ecstasy. Whether playing on your drum or drum set, or cranking up the volume when Sheila E comes on the radio, there are so many reasons why drums make us feel like we are better, happier and stronger people.
Rhythm itself can be found even in the most mundane of activities. We all have a natural rhythm to our daily schedules that keeps us motivated, and we all have a natural beat of our heart. Rhythm is the basis of our physical wellness, whether considering our breath or our heart rate when exercising, our bodies and minds all crave a steady rhythm. It is this rhythm that provides the motivation for exercise, increasing our determination and our heart rate, helping to prove our bodies are just as important as the activities they lead us into.
When it comes to these workouts and the exercise, rhythm provides several functions beyond the motivation factor. The rhythm in drumming or music helps to regulate the heart rate as we increase movement, benefitting the entire process of exercise by streamlining the effect on the cardiovascular system. This benefit can all be found in group classes where music is in the background, on a treadmill or elliptical with an iPod or even in the latest classes that incorporate drumming into the workout itself. In fact, with the addition of drumming in a workout, there can be an even stronger benefit.
A study was released by the University of Oxford that connects the physical act of drumming to the release of endorphins; those chemicals that help humans tolerate pain and make us all feel good. An endorphin release through drumming on a djembe, drum set, or that which can happen in drumming fitness classes not only reduces pain, but, if the rhythms are played in a group, then the endorphins also add to the feeling of bonding and community. Thus, not only is drumming beneficial to the body and mind of an individual in terms of physical fitness, but, within a group setting, the shared empowerment of this activity creates a unique feeling of belonging that lasts well after the last beat is played.
Drums make us feel good in a variety of ways, whether through listening to a rhythm or playing a favorite drum in a circle. No matter if you are seeking a better way to work out or, searching for a way to connect with others, picking up a drum can be the first step to a brand new you.