Updated: May 11, 2020
Written by: Bandana Jain, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Let's admit it! We are going through some of the trickiest and shakiest times! Practicing healthy habits and protecting your vocal health in these times of "social distancing" is more important than ever to lift your spirits and scale down stress levels. The fact is individuals need to protect their vocal health to nurture the well- being of the entire household. Here are some practical at-home tips on how to properly use your voice for physical, emotional and social advantages!
Dubai-based Opera Singer Bettina Schweiger offers practical ways of taking care of precious vocal chords, whether for moms shouting - if they get mad teaching their kids at home, reading books for their children, or for single people who have limitations on talking due to social distancing, as well as some of its health benefits during these quarantine weeks. It could be a great bonding activity for kids and the whole family!
So here are Bettina's tips on protecting and taking care of your voices at home interspersed with some of the physical, health and social benefits of singing:
1) Voice training is self-care
Singing fortifies health, widens culture, refines the intelligence, enriches the imagination, makes for happiness and endows life with an added zest. Singing has the potential to make a major contribution to our health, well-being and life skills.
TIP- Singing at least thirty minutes per day can improve your mood and reconnect with your body by working out your vocal cords.
2) Singing is a workout
Singing gives the lungs a workout. It also tones abdominal and intercostal muscles and the diaphragm, and stimulates circulation. It makes a person breathe more deeply than many forms of strenuous exercise, so a person takes in more oxygen, improves aerobic capacity and experiences a release of muscle tension as well. Singing the short-e sound, as in echo stimulates the thyroid gland, which secretes hormones that control the speed in which digestion and other bodily processes occur.
TIP- Making the long-o sound as in 'ocean' stimulates the pancreas, which regulates blood sugar.
3) Singing is therapeutic
Singing takes away your woes. For example, choose one of your favorite songs and sing it over a minus one or online karaoke. This way, it will bring back a lot of memories from the past that helps you calm down and relive happy memories either with your friends or family. Sing your heart out, it will instantly bring you to a more stable emotional state.
TIP- A free singing tutorial is highly advisable as it will help you gain additional technical knowledge about singing and honing your vocal cords at the same time.
4) Singing strengthens your immune system
Singing strengthens the immune system, according to research by scientists at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, published in the latest edition of the US Journal of Behavioral Medicine. The scientists tested the blood of people who sang in a professional choir in the city, before and after a 60- minute rehearsal of Mozart's Requiem, they found that concentrations of immunoglobulin A – proteins in the immune system which function as antibodies – and hydrocortisone, an anti-stress hormone, increased significantly during the rehearsal. Singing releases endorphins into your system and makes you feel energized and uplifted. People who sing are healthier than people who don't.
TIP- To strengthen immunity, sing the double-o sound, as in a tool. This activates the spleen, which regulates the production of infection-fighting white blood cells.
5) Singing works as an anti-depressant
Sound vibrations massage your aura, going straight to what's out of balance and fixing it. It forces oxygen into the blood, which signals the brain to release mood- lifting endorphins.
TIP- Singing the short-a sound, as in ahh, for 2-3 minutes will help banish the blues.
6) Singing makes you alert
Improved blood circulation and an oxygenated blood stream allow more oxygen to reach the brain. This improves mental alertness, concentration, and memory. The Alzheimer's Society has even established a"Singing for the Brain" service to help people with dementia and Alzheimer's maintain their memories.
TIP-To boost alertness, make the long-e sound, as in emit. It stimulates the pineal gland, which controls the body's biological clock.
7) Singing helps in online socializing
Whether you're in a choir or simply enjoy singing karaoke with your friends, one of the unexpected health benefits of singing is that it can improve your social life. The bonds you form with others can be profound, since there's a level of intimacy naturally involved.
TIP- Since we are on a lock-down, why not try an online karaoke battle with your friends? It could be fun!
Bandana Jain, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Bandana Jain is a Dubai based lifestyle and travel journalist for the past two decades. She’s also a passionate lifestyle blogger, photographer and loves pursuing modelling as a hobby. One of the aspects of her journalistic life that she thoroughly enjoys is rubbing shoulders with Bollywood celebrities. Having said this, her community journalist status ensures that she loves interacting with people from different strata of the society. She loves the limelight on stage sometimes as an anchor, whilst on other occasions as a public speaker. When she is not pursuing any of the above, you can find her shopping in Dubai’s famous malls or chilling by the beach with her favorite cup of tea. Travel is her passion, creativity her morale booster and enriching conversations are enough to give her the necessary thrust in life.
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