How Gen Z Uses Karaoke as Exercise

A Healthier Michigan

| 3 min read

Gen Z, those born between the mid 1990s and early 2010s, have different preferences and workout habits than previous generations, according to a 2001 study by Les Mills. Specifically, Gen Z prefers to work out in groups rather than alone. They like to have their exercise or workouts connected socially somehow, whether it is in a group exercise environment or socially connecting through smartphones and social media, especially with TikTok workout trends. Gen Z also prefers to be able to work out or exercise in a convenient, comfortable setting.
Karaoke fits the bill when it comes to many of the preferences Gen Z has for exercise. Karaoke can be a great group workout or exercise, it is a social and communal activity, and it can easily be done at home, at work or in social settings. It is also easy to share karaoke workout clips or ideas on social media.

How can karaoke be used as exercise?

The main activity involved in karaoke is singing. Prolonged singing can help to build respiratory strength, maintain cognitive abilities, and improve mood, according to the Les Mills study. Karaoke can be a good activity to add to exercise routines for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD, according to a 2012 study in the BMC Pulmonary Medicine journal.
Singing at length helps to build breathing strength. Singing in a group setting can have an increased positive effect on mood and can help anxiety symptoms as well, according to the same study. In this study, the singing sessions were an hour long each.
Adding dancing, choreography, or even pacing to extended singing sessions will increase the efficacy of karaoke as an exercise. Dancing or movement also helps to add to the community feeling of a group karaoke exercise. Simply put, karaoke can also be quite fun. Having fun is an important element to exercise; a 2020 study in Frontiers of Psychology found that the more an exercise is associated with fun, the easier the exercise is to stick with, and the higher level of enjoyment and interest in the exercise.

How long do you have to do karaoke for it to count as cardio?

According to the CDC and the Department of Health’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, in addition to strength-training. Karaoke is likely to fall under the moderate-intensity physical activity for most active adults.
To reach the suggested 150 minutes a week, the Department of Health suggests being active three to five days a week for 30 to 60 minutes per episode. In the studies referenced, singing group exercises were held for between 30 and 60 minutes. A good rule of thumb is to raise your heart rate for 30-45 minutes for any form of moderate-intensity exercise to be most effective.

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