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Sing Your Way to Good Health

Singing may very well be a skill, a talent and an art form but can it really be a good form of EXERCISE???

Absolutely YES! 

When you sing, your singing works many muscles and muscle groups in your body. When you sing from your diaphragm, your lungs, stomach and abdominal muscles (abs) will all get a good work out. 

Deep, controlled breathing is great for strengthening our lung muscles and increasing our lung capacity (how much air they can hold). That means, the more often you practice deep controlled breathing, the more oxygen (air) you will be able to hold and the longer you will be able to hold your notes before running out of air.  For the same reason Swimmers practice deep controlled breathing exercises, strong lung muscles take in more oxygen, allowing this increase in oxygen to flow through our bloodstream and leaving us feeling more alert with increased energy and stamina.  

There are many ways to work our abdominals, we can do those neck-wrenching crunches, try some sit-ups, or spend a lot of money on an ab roller or some other funky piece of machinery that will most likely end up in next year’s yard sale! Isn’t it great that something as fun as singing can also give your abs a great workout?

Controlled breathing is not only about holding your breath, it is also about letting the air out slowly and in a controlled manner … then squeezing out that last little bit of air before you take your next breath. The squeezing comes from constricting or tightening the diaphragm. 

Even if you have not had any formal voice training, you have probably heard of the diaphragm. Usually, people point to their stomachs when asked where their diaphragm is located. Some even refer to it as their ‘abdomen’ or their ‘belly’ however, you'll notice in the attached diagram that your diaphragm is located directly under the lungs and extends across the bottom of the ribcage.

If you watch a baby or a small child breathing, you’ll notice a rise and fall of the center of their torso. The centre will rise with each inhale and lower with each exhale. As we get older, improper breathing techniques take over, largely due to a lack of cardio aerobic activities, stress, and awareness of our breathing (when we sleep, most people tend to fall back into this natural breathing pattern).  However, breathing properly through the diaphragm causes it to contract, providing more space for our lungs to expand even further and take in more air.

* to Learn more about proper breathing technique, including some practical exercises, Sign-up now to receive instant access to our FREE 5-week Learn to Sing Video mini-series, featuring Lisa Smith of Lisa Smith’s Power Haus.

Learning to activate and work your diaphragm can also improve your posture. Since it’s located in the centre core region of your body, it provides support to both the front of your body attached to your ribs, as well as the back of your body supporting your lumbar (back) vertebrae (spine). This is why the diaphragm is commonly referred to as “nature’s girdle’. Keeping your shoulders down in a relaxed, natural position while going through breathing exercises will also improve your posture, since it properly guides your body to take air into the diaphragm. With proper breathing through the diaphragm, you will notice an improvement in the positioning of your shoulders and your overall posture.

Singing is also known to:

  • increase blood circulation
  • improve mood
  • stimulate and increase the 'feel good' hormones that flow into the body
  • lower cholesterol
  • and build confidence (improving mental health)

These are just some of the many wonderful, positive physical benefits you can experience simply by singing – there are far too many to mention here.  Your tongue is also a muscle that can be strengthened with regular exercise and while we may not think about giving our tongue a good work-out, stretching your tongue can not only improve your singing but it will also improve your speech, diction, annunciation, pronunciation, and the overall health of your tongue and mouth.

So go ahead, sing your way to good health!

Your Personal Vocal Coach

PS: Have you taken advantage of our FREE 5-week Learn-to-Sing Video mini-course, featuring Lisa Smith? It’s Free to sign-up and you can cancel at anytime. Join now for instant access to FREE singing lessons.

PPS: Already loving your FREE singing lessons with Lisa and now you’re ready for more? Click here to get even more FREE Singing Lessons, discounts on music software, cds, and more.

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