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Exercise Your Way to Better Hearing

Past and ongoing studies clearly indicate a connection between regular cardiovascular (CV) exercise and better hearing.

Through a battery of tests, a research team at the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, established that cardiovascular health has a synergistic relationship to a persons sense of hearing. For example, those with low CV fitness, regardless of age, always had poorer hearing than age-matched individuals with moderate or high CV fitness, indicating that cardiovascular health has beneficial effects on hearing sensitivity.

Preliminary analysis of recent follow-up studies reaffirms a link between hearing and a high cardiovascular fitness level, not just for the hearing impaired, but also for all individuals. By maintaining a high level of cardiovascular fitness, even in older age, individuals can help to preserve their delicate hearing system, says one of the researchers, Kathleen Hutchinson PhD, Chair and Professor of the universitys Speech Pathology and Audiology Department. By keeping as fit as possible, one not only lessens the chance of health concerns related to being unfit, but also increases the chance of sustaining normal hearing thresholds even into old age.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise at least three or four times each week. The moderate workout that can benefit hearing could conceivably consist of walking, hiking, biking or swimming. However, statistics indicate that a vast majority of Americans don't get the recommended amount of physical activity, or are not active at all.

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