health than the less musically inclined. Researchers tested subjects aged 18-30 and found guitarists, singers and pianists had lower blood pressure and reduced heart rates. Playing music fires up the sensory nervous system – which is also activated during your gym sessions – and the study authors believe that this gives it cardiovascular effects “resembling those of physical exercise”. If strumming through a moving rendition of Mr Tambourine Man feels beyond your capability (or if you cringe at the mere thought) then simply crooning along to a tune of your choosing has benefits, too. University of London research shows that giving your lungs a workout increases levels of blood oxygen, while exercising major upper-body muscles. We’re calling it band aid.