Monday, November 10, 2008

Trouble breathing? Sing!

Have you been told you need to breathe better? Calm down that blood pressure?

Sing for your health

If doing cardio exercise makes you feel winded, don't be discouraged--use singing techniques to help you control your breathing and you can conquer your cardio challenges.

As a child I studied piano, and I fell into singing while in college to meet other musicians. Many of us don't know how to tap into all the layers of our abdominals and I've used singing techniques help teach ab exercises where many have been stumped before. Singing can help you not only get a flatter stomach, but also exercises your heart and lungs!

The English have decided to make singing a public health charity event this December. Here's a cue--let's round up some friends and do some singing. Here are some ideas: 1) join a sing-a-long Messiah 2) find a caroling group that brings cheer to hospitals 3) find a singer-friend to host a party and lead a singing circle.

The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.
- Professor Graham Welch, Institute of Education, University of London

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