Updated: Jan 21
Four ways to keep your voice in top shape!
Whether you’re a professional singer or just talking with your friends, vocal health is important. Your vocal cords are delicate and need to be taken care of in order to avoid potential damage. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your voice healthy.
Healthy Cords, Awesome Voice!
Hydration is key when it comes to vocal health. Staying hydrated helps keep the mucous membranes in your throat and larynx moist, which is essential for healthy singing. But, drinking water alone is not enough if it is stripped of the minerals your body needs to absorb water properly. Reverse osmosis filters can remove important minerals from your water. Adding electrolytes to your water or drinking coconut water each day can help you stay well hydrated. Our bodies NEED water and minerals to function properly.
Rest and Relaxation
When you use your voice excessively without taking breaks, it can lead to fatigue, hoarseness, and even permanent damage. To ensure that you’re not overworking your vocal cords, it’s important to get plenty of rest between singing sessions or other activities that require use of your voice. Rest is just as important as exercise, it is the restorative part of exercise where your muscles heal and get stronger. It is also important to rest between vocal exercises if you feel fatigue. Think of voice exercises as weight training for your voice. You wouldn't pick up heavy weights and keep lifting them in the same fashion for an hour without time in between sets. Recovery is important.
Talking loudly or shouting over loud noises puts a strain on your vocal cords and can lead to long-term damage if done regularly. Excessive talking throughout the day can also lead to vocal fatigue. Try avoiding environments with excessive noise pollution such as large parties or concerts. If you can’t avoid excessive talking or loud environments because of your work try humming through a small coffee straw to help reset & relax your vocal cords. Additionally, try staying away from inhaling smoke as this can also irritate the delicate tissues in the throat leading to potential long-term damage.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Yogic Breathing or any type of deep breathing exercise can do wonders for your voice. We only use about 30% of our lung capacity so if you’re running out of air quickly you may need to work on expanding your lung capacity. One thing that can limit lung expansion is a locked up rib cage. Our culture of bad posture exacerbates this problem. One of my favorite ways to unlock my ribs and get more air into my lungs is to do deep breathing while in a twisted position. You can do this lying on the floor with your upper back square on the ground and both knees to one side. Take 10 slow deep breaths in this twisted position and switch to the other side.
Taking care of our voices is important no matter how we use them - for work, pleasure, or both! By following these simple tips - staying hydrated by drinking lots of water, getting adequate rest between activities that require using the voice, and being mindful of environmental factors - we can ensure our vocal health remains strong for many years to come! So make sure you take a few moments each day for yourself and give your vocal chords the care they deserve!