I have said many times that breath is the energy for speech. Want a way to improve your voice and your health at the same time? Think exercise.
While you’re increasing your aerobic capacity with exercise, you’re also improving your breathing.
Lately, loads of new scientific evidence is showing that exercise has more benefits for health than we knew before.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released new guidelines for physical activity recently. The new benefits they list for exercise include a reduction in eight types of cancer. That’s six more than we previously knew about. This along with the increase in breathing capacity, are real winners.
And the moderate intensity exercise that has been suggested since 2008 now has been revised to say ANY exercise counts no matter how long it is. So, for instance, you could climb a set of stairs during your workday, and that would count toward the 150 minimum minutes recommended for the week.
Even a short exercise period will result in an immediate reduction of stress hormones like you feel when facing a deadline. It will also increase alertness so you can handle that deadline better. And with daily exercise your blood pressure will be lower and your sleep better.
But how does all this help breathing? Exercising until you have to work slightly hard at breathing is what expands breathing capacity. So why not reap all the benefits of working out along with improving your voice? It’s a win-win!
And while you’re doing this exercise during the summer months, remember to stay hydrated. That’s true every day. Find ways to work fluid intake into every day by carrying water with you or having some in the sound booth (if permitted).
To entice yourself to drink more water, drop some sliced strawberries or sliced cucumbers in a bottle at night and chill. What a pleasant treat for the next day, especially these hot days in July or August. And aim for half your body weight in ounces of water every day with a glass or two more when you’re doing aerobic exercise. If you want reminders of when to drink fluids, there are tons of apps for free that will do just that!
And if you’d like to know more about nutrition and how it can help your voice, check out the fifth edition of BROADCAST VOICE HANDBOOK which you can download instantly by clicking here.