Photography by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Watching a Musical is as Good for You as a 30-Minute Workout

Good news guys and dolls: a new study by University College London and Encore Tickets has found that watching a musical has the same health benefits as “an exerting workout.”According to a report from The Sun, the study monitored the heart rate of an audience at a live performance of Dreamgirls in London, and found that their rates “raised to between 50 and 70 percent of their theoretical maximum” for 28 minutes of the show. According to the British Heart Foundation – who we assume are experts on this issue – these levels are “optimal” for stimulating cardio fitness and boosting stamina. Moral of the science report: if you watch a musical, you’re getting about 30 minutes of sweat-dripping-down-your-forehead cardio.

But TBH, I didn’t need a test group and a heart monitor to tell me that a live performance of “And I’m Telling You” gets the pulse moving. That song is a physical and emotional workout, and anyone who says otherwise should probably see a doctor to have their heart rate checked. (Spoiler: they don’t have a heart.)

I’m just glad science has proven that my favourite hobby is just as athletically valid as Soul Cycle. Musicals, especially live and in person, are pure entertainment. They offer the same goose-bump, hair-standing-up sensation one gets from watching a 9-year-old perform receive a standing “O” after performing a Whitney Houston song on America’s Got Talent. (I’m still waiting on a medical diagnosis of how good watching that show is for my health.) Such larger-than-life vocals and high energy dance acts make you feel good – and apparently, they’re good for you.

In celebration of this ground-breaking scientific discovery, here’s a round-up of our all time favourite musical performances. So toss on your spandex and your sneakers, and start sweating. This is the best excuse you’ve ever had to skip the gym.

“Defying Gravity” – Wicked  

“Alexander Hamilton”Hamilton

“You Can’t Stop the Beat”Hairspray

“One More Day”Les Miserables

“I Believe”The Book of Mormon

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