We all use our voices a lot on a daily basis, but did you know taking great care of your voice gives you the bonus of excellent overall health? Some practical tips for taking excellent care of your voice will give you better stamina and keep vocal problems at bay.
To maintain a healthy voice, one of the basics is getting enough rest and adequate sleep. Make sure you are on top of this by getting a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. This will consistently keep your voice in great health.
This is an absolute essential. Drink a solid amount of water throughout the day. Did you know that 80% of Americans are dehydrated? You will maintain excellent vocal health by consistently staying hydrated.
Honey is more than very pleasant to taste, it also has an amazing number of healing properties. If you feel a little tickle in the throat or are vocally tired, having a spoonful of honey can help you fight off illness. If you’re really under the weather or your voice is strained, then have a teaspoon of honey every 30 minutes to every hour, especially before bed.
Carry a scarf with you. Always. 12 months out of the year you should have a scarf in tow. This way if you find yourself in some kind of artificially heated or cooled environment, even in the height of summer, you can protect your throat. Protecting the throat with a scarf helps to keep your body temperature consistent, especially if you are prone to being cold.
Try the ancient Ayurveda treatment called Oil Pulling. It is an amazing option for overall health. You can find great information about this online, but oil pulling involves swishing cold-pressed organic sesame oil in the mouth first thing each morning anywhere from 7-20 minutes. This is a trick with positive side-effects that are a vast improvement in dental health too.
If you are in a loud environment and straining to be heard over music or talking, or even at a sporting event, do not strain yourself by trying to yell, scream, or cheer super loudly. This is something to be extremely conscious of in order to protect your voice and vocal chords.
This may sound pretty obvious, but we've all been in a situation where we are a little too exuberant with our voice and it starts to hurt. You may be giving a presentation and the microphone isn't working properly, or you are trying to be heard over loud music or conversation. If your voice hurts in any way, then it is harming your vocal cords too, and could lead to major and lasting problems.
If you have to use your voice more than usual, and know you will have to talk with people all day long at a conference or trade show, or with back to back business meetings as compared to your typical quieter workday inside of the office, then pay attention to your dairy consumption. Watch how much dairy is in your diet and reduce it as much as possible. This creates more mucus, further blocking the vocal passages and leaving them unclear.
In America, ice is routinely served in cold drinks, which can lead to big vocal problems. Ice can tighten or numb your vocal cords, and can irritate your throat and leave you more susceptible to a sore throat. Always ask for water with no ice and try to wean yourself off ice in all beverages.
Do not under any circumstances clear your throat as it can actually injure your vocal cords. Instead, try taking a sip of water, cough gently, or swallow a few times in order to clear the throat. This can be a really tricky habit to change, but is worth paying attention to for overall great vocal health.
The best news about following this simple advice for maintaining a healthy voice is the positive benefits it can have on your overall health. Being hydrated, getting enough rest, and keeping a consistent body temperature leads to more energy and overall, you will feel better. Isn’t that one of the things we want most in life, to feel good?
More expert advice about Nutrition
Photo Credits: J.J. Abrams, “Apple Fanatic” by Flickr: jurvetson; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com