Reciting the Iliad could have epic effects on your health. German physiologists have recently shown that such poetry can get your heart beating in time with your breaths. This synchronization may improve gas exchange in the lungs as well as the body’s sensitivity and responsiveness to blood pressure changes.
The poem’s use of hexameter — six rhythmic units per line — is seen as especially important to this result.
Here is one brief account, see also the October issue of Scientific American, p.29.