The number of people suffering from Asthma has increased over the last 30 to 40 years and continues to rise, particularly among children and young people.
Various reasons have been cited, including allergies and general air pollution, most notably around heavily urbanised areas. I myself contracted a mild form of the condition in later years after a particularly nasty bronchial infection.
When I've gone for check-ups, the doctors have always been surprised (and delighted) with my peak flow (which is how fast air comes out of the lungs when you exhale forcefully after inhaling fully). This is put down to me playing a musical instrument.
Here are some of the health benefits of playing a wind/brass instrument:
- More efficient use of lung capacity, by as much as 30%.
- Players tend to breath deeper and use the diaphragm more to control while playing musical phrasing.
- Strengthening of core muscle groups (abs)
- Reduced effects/occurrences of the condition.
- Reduced school absence among young sufferers. Consequently, better educational results in the long term.
Of course playing an instrument has many other health benefits beyond breathing, but that's for another blog!