Skip the Gym and Spend a Night at the Theater: Here’s Why

Bella Breakdown

Cue the standing ovation. We bet you never thought a night at the theater could be a boon for your health.

A British study collected stats from 12 volunteers during a performance of Dreamgirls at the Savoy Theatre in London. They monitored participants’ heart rates, brain activity and various psychological cues throughout the show. The researchers found that the volunteers’ heart rates rose of the shows drama unraveled to between 50% and 70% of their maximum.

According to the British Heart Foundation, this range is optimal for your cardiovascular health and for boosting stamina. Dr. Joseph Devlin, the head of experimental psychology at the University College, London said this activity was the equivalent of “an exerting cardio workout.”

“You can see comparable changes in heart rate in professional tennis players during bursts of highly intense exertion such as long and fast rallies.” Well, there’s our excuse to snag a pair of tickets to Wicked or Irving Berlin’s White Christmas next time they’ve got a tour stop in town!

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