New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Voice

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on December 29, 2014

NewYearseveBallSmallIt’s that time of year again….time to make promises most of us seldom keep.  My hope is that you will keep the three that I’m recommending.  If you are making money with your voice, these resolutions might just keep you employed longer.  Your throat will thank you as well as  your wallet!

1)  Resolve not to smoke or put yourself in places where people are smoking. This is the most important thing you can do for a healthy voice.  I’ve written about the dangers of smoking on this blog many times, but I think there still might be some voice professionals who don’t quite understand the dangers.  To put it bluntly, it’s not a question of IF you’ll have significant problems with your voice if you smoke;  it’s a question of WHEN and how bad will they be.  Smoking is like playing Russian roulette with a bullet in every cylinder.  If you smoke, use whatever means it takes to stop.  And if you don’t smoke, avoid second hand smoke like the plague.  Want to learn more, watch my video.

2)  Resolve to drink lots of water. If you watched the video above, you heard me talking about the benefits of staying hydrated.  Water (or decaffeinated, non alcoholic fluids) keeps the cells in our throats plump and healthy and it helps the mucous in our throats stay at the consistency that is right for protecting the delicate vocal fold tissue.  Want to know how much to drink?  Click here for that info.

3)  Resolve to keep your volume down. Not many of us think about how delicate the vocal folds (cords) are in our throats.  I think about it all the time because I know what can happen from simple things we do in our life like yelling at a football game or raising our volume to talk over a band in a club.  Even talking loudly in a noisy restaurant can cause damage to our throats.  One of the things that can happen very easily is the formation of a polyp on the vocal fold.  Polyps can be caused by a small blood vessel breaking from the force of loud speech.  This creates a host of problems you don’t want to have to deal with.  So avoid them by not raising your volume.

You don’t see concert pianists hitting their hands with hammers when they’re not performing do you?  Loud speech or really any of the three issues this blog has presented are the equivalent of doing just that to your throat.  Make 2015 the year you resolve to do something healthy for your throat.

Want to learn more about having a healthy voice?  Ck out the new, fifth edition of my book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK, for 390 pages of great info!

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