K-POP IS GOOD FOR YOU
Okay, you're an expert. You've got your favorite bands, you know the things to yell out while they're performing, you're plugged into Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well as all the news sites (like us, natch). You know when your favorite bands are staging their comebacks. But did you know that K-pop is actually good for you?
If you're anything like me, you seek out your favorite songs and see if someone's posted the lyrics on pop!gasa or Color-Coded Lyrics (or one of the dozens of sites out there). Then you sing your heart out. I do this a lot. You do this enough, then you've got 'em memorized. Singing apparently protects the upper respiratory system from infection, according to a University of Frankfurt study. So belting out those K-pop hits not only is hella-fun, but healthy. Not only that but "People who sing regularly can improve their breathing, increase their supply of oxygen, stimulate their circulation and get their bodies energized," according to Professor Wolfram Seidner of the University Clinic Charite in Berlin. So don't be afraid to bust out that EXO song and use those lungs.
Here's something else to get you pumped. K-pop can be a huge help during a workout. There's the distraction factor, for one. K-pop just has this way of grabbing your attention, which is ideal for focusing on something else besides your tired muscles, boosting performance. If you have that one song that gets you up and moving because of the vocals or the beat or even a crush on the singer, that's even better for getting "in the zone," where performance peaks. But don't cue up those slower songs. Most K-pop songs fall somewhere around 115 BPM (beats per minute) or faster, and studies have shown that rate, up to about a max of 140, is the ideal speed for moderate exercise.
According to a doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, listening to music you like every day reduces stress and makes you feel good. HealthDay carried a story about a study where music did as well as massage for reducing anxiety. I'm assuming most of you are here because you enjoy K-pop, so I can safely say that K-pop is a mood-booster for us lucky fans. I'm sure every now and then, one of you have felt instantly better when a favorite song popped up on your playlist. Now you know it's not just you -- you have science backing you up.
From epic, body-moving tracks and emotional, moving ballads to soothing, soft pop, no one can say that K-pop is not full of joy. And that is precisely the kind of music that helps your heart. No, really. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center discovered that listening to happy music actually makes blood vessels expand by 26%, meaning more blood flow and a healthier heart. The opposite is true, as well. Anxiety-producing music makes them shrink.
There's a large amount of data linking good music with everything from helping you when undergoing surgery, to recovering from stroke, even acting as a block for pain receptors. Those aren't isolated incidents. Listening to great music is a fantastic emotional panacea, but now you have valid, medicinal reasons to enjoy your favorite songs. Let's start a new meme. Dare I say it? "K-pop is life."