Breaking into song exercises much more than just your vocal chords
Don’t know about you but sometimes the trip to the gym can get a bit too much – all that running, jumping, pumping weights while watching The One Show or something equally thrilling on the big screens. Please save us from the Temple of Sweat. So, what are the alternatives? Well, there’s always a nice brisk walk along the canals, or maybe an interesting and energetic cycle in one of Brum’s beautiful parks? Or how about a sing-song? No really, seriously, singing is very good for you. Whether it’s singing at a concert, in the shower or while sat at traffic lights it exercises those vocal chords – and that delivers a number of health and general well-being benefits.
The guys from Birmingham Icknield Male Voice Choir definitely know the benefits of a good song or two as this year the group is celebrating its 116th anniversary. Among its members are those who’ve stuck around for nearly 40 years, so being part of a choir is clearly addictive as well as being very good for the soul. Here’s five ways singing can improve your lifestyle…
- Better sleep for you – and your partner Physically, singing can improve your sleep. Research has shown a set of daily vocal exercises can often strengthen a weak throat as well as your palate muscles which are known to be significant causes of snoring. Your partner will thank you for taking up the new hobby!
- Stronger and more toned body It’s what everyone wishes for! Involving yourself in a choir can be of huge benefit to your heart and circulation by improving your aerobic capacity and decreasing muscle tension. Singing also improves posture and the weekly practices consistently exercise the mouth area, so facial muscles are toned up too. Previous scientific studies at Frankfurt University in Germany have also found that singing helps the immune system, giving it a boost to help fight against disease. Looks like the gym isn’t the only place to get a workout.
- Happier outlook Even better news is the decrease in depression as during singing the body releases pain-relieving endorphins to give a positive boost to mentality. Music itself stimulates specific parts of the brain responsible for concentration and memory, so next time you’re thinking about where you put the car keys don’t dismay, your musical mental workout will have helped you remember.
- Stress busting Singing doesn’t just have a positive impact physically, it can also increase a person’s self esteem and confidence as well as being a useful stress reducer. Researchers at a leading university in Sweden found that when people sing together their heartbeats synchronise – giving a calming effect that is as beneficial to your health as yoga.
- Helps you make new friends Rarely do we see people coming together for a good old sing-song these days, so joining a choir is a great way to make new friends and guarantee that your 2016 social diary is jam-packed. Scientists have actually found that singing groups bond much more quickly than any other social activity group.