HEALTHY TIPS FOR THE VOICE


 Some people spend hours at the gym or pounding the pavement to keep their bodies in shape. But beyond singers and actors, who worries much about their voices?
You should, say Norman Hogikyan and colleagues at the University of Michigan Health System.
"Your voice is your ambassador to the outside world," Hogikyan contends. "It portrays your personality and emotions. People make assessments about you based on your voice, so it is very important when you're speaking or singing to think about what people are really hearing. Problems with your voice also can have a tremendous impact on your life."
    
So therefore to keep your voice in shape, follow the following rules:
1. Drink water to keep your body well hydrated, and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Your vocal cords vibrate very fast, and having a proper water balance helps keep them lubricated. Important note: Foods containing large amounts of water are excellent hydration-conscious snacks, including apples, pears, watermelon, peaches, melons, grapes, plums, bell peppers and applesauce.
2. Don't smoke, or if you already do, quit. Smoking raises the risk of throat cancer tremendously, and inhaling smoke (even secondhand smoke) can irritate the vocal cords.
3. Don't abuse or misuse your voice. Avoid yelling or screaming, and try not to talk loudly in noisy areas. If your throat feels dry or tired, or your voice is getting hoarse, reduce your voice use. The hoarseness is a warning sign that your vocal cords are irritated.
4. Keep your throat and neck muscles relaxed even when singing high notes and low notes. Some singers tilt their heads up when singing high notes and down when singing low notes. "The high notes are on the ceiling and the low notes are on the floor," Rosenberg says. "Over time, you'll pay for that"—not just with strained vocal muscles but also by causing future limits on the vocal range.
5. Pay attention to how you speak every day. Even performers who have good singing habits can cause damage when they speak. Many skilled singers don't continue their healthy habits when they speak; indeed, says Herseth, "many people—including singers—should have much more breath flow when they speak."
6. Don't clear your throat too often. When you clear your throat, it's like slamming your vocal cords together. Doing it too much can injure them and make you hoarse. Try a sip of water or swallow to quench the urge to clear. If you feel like you have to clear your throat a lot, get checked by a doctor for such things as acid reflux disease, or allergy and sinus conditions.
7. When you're sick, spare your voice. Don't talk when you're hoarse due to a cold or infection. Listen to what your voice is telling you.
8. When you have to sing or speak publicly, to large groups or outdoors, think about using amplification to avoid straining your voice
9. Do lip or tongue trills in the morning (try it in the shower or on your drive to work) to facilitate better use of airflow and breath.
10. Perform gentle humming and cooing to warm up your voice in the morning.
11.  Avoid drinking caffeine right before any performance. Caffeine tightens the vocal cords; needless to say, this temporarily hinders your range and endurance. If you need to drink tea, then ensure that it's decaffeinated.
12.  Consider taking voice lessons, even if you have never had a voice problem; voice lessons have been shown to increase vocal efficiency, and decrease the likelihood of developing voice problems.

For more tips visit the following links:
 Texas voice center
voices.yahoo

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