Physical activity, music and the aging brain - A Review


  • Frances Hendriëhetta Le Roux MSc, PhD, Private Practice, Fish Hoek



Music, Excercises, Well-being, Aging Brain


The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis with physical and mental disorders, especially for the elderly. Resilience or the ability to bounce back or recover from stress and negative emotions are important for well-being. Music is a powerful, pleasurable stimulus that can induce positive well-being and promoting cognition. A combination of non-pharmaceutical interventions can produce more benefits. Several studies support the notion that physical activity can help alleviate the negative impact of age on body and mind. Research on normal and pathological aging reveal that music is an interesting and powerful means of promoting cognition, well-being and social connection in older adults. Physical exercise combined with music induces greater positive effects on cognition function, well-being and lead to neuroanatomical changes. Music and exercise cross the disciplines of bio-mechanics, neurology, physiology and sport psychology and bring social and spiritual benefits. Self-selected music elicited the greatest improvements, it offers a motivational boost, resulting in greater enjoyment and longer engagement in activity. This literature review aims to provide an overview on studies that have explored physical activity and the aging brain. And how music combined with physical activity can positively have an impact on emotional well-being of the elderly.

Keywords: Music, Exercises, Well-being, Aging Brain

Author Biography

Frances Hendriëhetta Le Roux, MSc, PhD, Private Practice, Fish Hoek

PhD – University of Stellenbosch, S.A. (The Effect of Music on the Immune System, Emotions and Lung Functions during Standard Physiotherapy Treatment of Specific Lung Pathology).

Physiotherapist. Private Physiotherapy Practice in Fish Hoek, South Africa for 30 years.

Current research interest and projects on Music, Health Care, Spirituality and Positive Emotions.





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