New Castle News

All About You ...

June 27, 2013

Go ahead, sing. Studies show it can improve your health

NEW CASTLE —

One of the benefits I gained by following a regular yoga practice is that I have become a better singer.

However, because I teach evening classes I’m sad to say, my schedule limits my ability to join a choir. This is unfortunate.

I admit that there may be critics who could argue my claim of enhanced song, but I don’t see anyone covering their ears.

The regular stretching from yoga improves the flexibility of my shoulders, and front and back of my neck. The regular breathing practice maintains the strength of my diaphragm. Singing a song is like doing several big, long exhales. So the better your lung capacity, the better your crooning will be.

The interesting thing is that studies have shown that singing actually can alleviate stress, decrease your blood pressure and lower your heart rate. So go ahead, keep singing in the shower.

In one study, over a three-year period, a group of singers, ages 55 and over, were followed and examined to see how singing affected their health.

The Seniors Singing Chorale, at the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., showed “significant health improvements compared to those in the control groups,” according to the study.

In the three years, there were 30 fewer doctor visits, fewer eyesight problems, less depression and less need for medication.

Participants reported feeling better both in daily life and while singing, and noticed that their voice quality was improved. They also noticed they could breathe easier and had better posture.

Another finding is that using your diaphragm to sing is a good way to promote a healthy lymphatic system, which in turn promotes a healthy immune system.

The lymph system keeps toxins moving along. So don’t be shy, belt out those show tunes — “When the red, red robin goes bob, bob, bobbin’ along” might actually keep the red blood cells prevalent, and the white blood cells ready for strong defense.

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