Tips and Suggestions for Healthy Voice
In this short article we have compiled a list of hints, tips and suggestions for you to read and follow to keep your voice healthy when using it regularly and/or when performing.
Listen to your body and visit your GP
If you have any concerns about your voice at all, especially if you are using your voice frequently within your job. Hoarseness is not part of ANY job.
Drink water (stay well hydrated)
As well as being good for a healthy body and mind, water is essential to maintaining a healthy voice. It helps to keep healthy mucous levels in the vocal tract and vocal folds and therefore aids lubrication. A bit like a well oiled car.
To maintain adequate hydration, avoid or moderate substances that cause dehydration. These include alcohol and caffeinated beverages (coffee, tea, fizzy drinks). Don't forget to increase your water intake when exercising. If you are adequately hydrated your urine will be pale. 'Pee pale' is a simple, to the point, phrase that helps people remember this.
Need we say more...probably not, but a little explanation will suffice. Smoke passes the vocal tract and vocal folds on its way down to the lungs. This causes dehydration, drying up of healthy mucous levels and subsequent irritation and swelling of the vocal folds. The smokers voice will be changed and its quality affected.
Try not to scream or shout
This is very damaging to your voice as it puts your vocal folds under a lot of pressure. Pubs, football matches, music concerts are all places where we have trouble being heard, so if you can, move closer to the person you need to speak to or move somewhere quieter.
Warm up your voice before extended use
Many people never think about warming up their voice before they use it all day, yet many people speak a lot more in their jobs than they realise! Warming up your voice before teaching a class, working all the day on the telephone or spending the day chatting to customers just gently gets your vocal folds moving, ready for action. Much in the same way as limbering up before a run. A simple warm-up could include: humming gently up and down from a comfortable higher pitch to a comfortable lower pitch, then repeating this gliding various vowel sounds up and down. A nice gentle lip trill (like a noise horses make) can also help loosen any tension around your jaw - you may only wish to do this away from polite society, or get everyone else to join in your daily warm-up!
Stay Fit and Healthy
Eat well and take regular exercise. Regular exercise has many benefits. Here are just a few to get you thinking...you feel better, have increased energy, deal with everyday worries with more ease and sometimes grace and you can often look better! Not only that but your voice works better too.