Get Moving for a Better Voice

by Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D. on March 17, 2011

Last week’s blog post discussed the advantages of Yoga for a better voice.  This week I want to begin with a short explanation of another type of exercise that is related to Yoga, and that’s Pilates.  The exercises in Pilates work to strengthen your core muscles.  These are the ones that encircle the trunk of your body.  Yoga helps with posture, but Pilates can help even more.  By strengthening your core, Pilates allows you to maintain a more upright posture, which aids breathing.  Remember, breathing is the energy of speech.  Ck out this Pilates move: Pilates 100 Exercise It’s guaranteed to strengthen your core!  I do suggest you warm up before beginning any Pilates work.  This takes me right into a discussion of aerobics.

Aerobic exercise is a great way to warm up for a few minutes before doing strengthening exercises like Yoga and Pilates.  The benefits of aerobic exercise for your voice, however, demand more than just warming up.  You need to increase your breathing and heart rate for at least thirty minutes a day for a real aerobic workout.  We’ve all read about the health benefits of aerobic exercise as well as its role in weight loss.  If you want a summary of the awesome benefits, check out what the Mayo Clinic says.  But how can it help your voice?

First of all, aerobic exercise can increase your breathing capacity and maintain it for years.  Fitness Magazine reported last month that skiers who kept skiing into old age had the oxygen capacity of  35-year-olds.  The deeper you breathe while exercising, the greater your lung capacity, which results in better oxygen capacity in your body.  Also, exercising before you head to the mic improves your circulation and therefore more blood goes to your brain and muscles to get you ready to sound your very best.  And the good news is you don’t have to sweat for an hour to have this effect.  Research from California State University has shown that a ten-minute brisk walk will boost your energy for up to two hours.  Just repeat that ten minutes three times during the day, and you’ve got your thirty-minute workout done!

So think about putting some aerobic exercise in your life if you don’t have any now.  You can walk, run, cycle, swim, or even dance.  Doesn’t really matter what you do, just get moving.  You’ll breathe better and think clearer.  Now wouldn’t that move you to the next level with your voicing?!

Ck out my book, BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK.  You can read more about all aspects of voice.  Helpful for Voice Artists, Broadcasters and Podcasters!

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