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Your Healthy Family: Drumming class helps senior minds and bodies

Posted at 5:21 AM, Sep 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-05 10:21:27-04

WATERVLIET, NY — Turns out something as simple as drumming can be good for you on many levels. That's what seniors at an adult living community in New York are learning.

It’s a class called Golden Beat a drumming program for the senior set.

The class was recently introduced at the Shaker Point Independent Living community near Albany.

Every week residents gather to beat the drum slowly, or quickly but with the same results says fitness director Kerry Engle. "Not only are they having fun but they're learning coordination. They're learning balance.”

The drumming class has also been shown to reduce stress. Barbara loves going to the class and says, "I think this is the best fun, and greatest stress reliever I have in my life."

The benefits of the class are rooted in more than simply banging on an exercise ball with drumsticks. There are patterns to follow and that gives the brain a workout.

Joanna says of the class, "I just love it. I can feel the rhythmic intensity, the energy in the room. It's almost like I feel my brain getting tweaked."

Instructor Kerry adds, “The way they have designed this class it’s actually trying to produce new neurons in the brain that can go in different pathways. I believe it's called neuroplasticity."

Because you have to follow the patterns and because drumming is bilateral it helps strengthen the less dominant hemisphere of the brain.

Mike says of the class, “It has helped me mentally tremendously. I feel that I've benefited from the time and effort I've put in.”

While it may look like child's play, members of the class say it takes serious concentration. No one is breaking a sweat, but they are getting a whole body workout.

Kerry says of her class members, “They're having a really good time."