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Drumming Out a Workout

I’m a drummer, and when I finish playing a show, I’m exhausted. Playing the drums requires constant motion in both legs and both arms. That, plus setting up and breaking down equipment, makes for a tiring workout. But does it count as exercise? To find out, I geared up with a Fitbit and got behind my drum kit.

I played a nonstop 30-minute set with rhythms from all genres of music – classic rock beats, jazz swing, blues shuffle, pop ballad, punk, metal blasts and more. After a half-hour, my resting heart rate jumped from 62 to 108 beats per minute. I averaged 100 bpm throughout the session, which equated to roughly 199 calories burned.

According to Livestrong, drummers often elevate their heartbeats even more, sometimes reaching 190 bpm – a rate of intense physical activity comparable to workouts by elite athletes.

During my session, I logged 3,856 steps and “traveled” 1.88 miles on my Fitbit. While these figures may not translate perfectly, it’s clear that drumming requires coordination and endurance, especially when playing a three-hour show.

Every instrument requires a different level of physical activity. In my case, making music clearly burned calories and provided a cardiovascular workout.

If you don’t have access to a drum set, look for cardio drumming classes at gyms near you. These percussion workout programs are the newest craze in the fitness world and can add a fun flair to your exercise routine.

Any new exercise routines should be approached with caution. Consider your physical limitations and always consult your doctors.


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