12 Tips To Maintain A Healthy Voice
Our voices are so important for expressing who we are. We 'voice' our opinions, share our feelings and convey emotions even without words. A number of professionals depend on the use of their voices such as singers, talk show hosts, referees and the list goes on and on. A large portion of how we communicate as human beings lies in the use of our voices. With such significance, It would be only natural and sensible to make sure that our voices are kept in good health.
When you speak or vocalize you force air from your lungs causing your two vocal chords in your voice box (larynx) to vibrate and produce sound. This unique sound is your voice, which is quite dynamic. Many common voice problems are as a result of damage to these vocal chords, that can affect pitch, quality and the stamina of a voice. Here are some helpful tips that you can put into practice to make sure that you 'keep your voice'.
- Drink adequate water - Healthy vocal chords are kept moist from the the throat's natural mucous productions. Drinking enough water will help to keep them that way. The rule of thumb is 6-8 glasses of water per day which is roughly equivalent to 2 liters. Take into consideration that drinks and medicine containing caffeine and alcohol will accelerate the loss of water from your body, so drinking more water is necessary. Engaging in physical activity such as exercising will result in you losing water, and that should be compensated for by drinking water.
- Practice vocal warm-up techniques - These are not only necessary for professionals whose trade is in their voice, but for everyone. While the techniques may not be so intense, some basic ones will be enough. Just like warming up before playing a game of basketball, so it is for warming up the voice at the beginning of the day.
- Maintain good posture - This will ensure that your voice will be at ease when speaking. Improper posture such as slouching or cradling the phone between the head and shoulder can cause a strain on the vocal chords.
- Practice good breathing - Good breathing involves adequate air supply. Practice squeezing out all the air out of your lungs, and then allowing air to to naturally rush into your lungs.
- Speak at your natural pitch - Speaking too high or too low can push unnecessary strain on the voice. Be at ease and speak naturally with the proper use of your diaphragm.
- Avoid excessive talking - Prolonged talking can result in the
tiring or straining of the vocal chords. This can be avoided by taking
breaks, and avoiding talking unnecessarily.
- Avoid overuse - Shouting, yelling and screaming can strain the vocal chords. This is a common mistake made by people in an atmosphere of cheering.
- Avoid clearing the throat - This is a prime reason for irritating the vocal chords. The feeling that something is in the throat is usually because because of a feeling of excess mucous caused from certain bacteria. Swallowing a little water momentarily can help you to reduce the need to abuse your vocal chords by clearing your throat.
- Reduce coughing - coughing can also irritate the vocal chords especially if the coughing is dry and intense. Cough medicines, sweets or even home remedies may help to reduce the irritation that causes the coughing.
- Quit smoking - Smoking can significantly damage the vocal chords by causing them to swell. Voice capabilities and quality may be permanently reduced. Smoking is well known to be a cause for lung cancer. Furthermore second-hand smoke and simply being in a smoky environment may have a similar effect on the voice.
- Avoid over-spicy food, oily food and late night meals - These meals can cause your stomach to be more acidic which also negatively affects the vocal chords by swelling them. A rough hoarse voice may develop due to this.
- Be aware of your voice - Listen to your voice when you speak and
be aware of any changes in your vocal quality or other unusual symptoms. Check with your physician if you have prolonged hoarseness, pain in the throat or coughing of blood.
Keeping your voice healthy isn't at all isolated from keeping a healthy body. A rich healthy and balanced diet, proper sleep, adequate exercise are elements of good health and thus the basics for maintaining a healthy voice.