Show Some Love To Your Cords
We depend on our vocal cords all day and between phone-calls, shows, sports games, parties and everything in between they can take a beating. There are measures we can take to make sure our vocal cords are healthy and performing at their best ability.
1. Be Mindful in Noisy Environments
Every time we yell or push our speaking voice, our vocal cords bang together. This irritation creates swelling and mucus on the cords which causes a hoarse, unclear sound. Avoid holding prolonged conversations in noisy environments. If you have to talk in a noisy environment, stand as close as you can to the person you're speaking to and avoid raising your voice over the sound. Avoid yelling at sports events or concerts, clapping your hands always works!
2. Use Proper Breathing Technique
Support your singing with good breathing technique. Proper breathing technique will take pressure off your vocal cords and give you more stamina. Click here for more information on proper breathing technique.
3. Warm-up every day
Just as you would stretch before and after running, it is important to always warm-up and warm-down for singing. Vocalizing with also improve your range and vocal resonance. Think of your vocal cords as a muscle...a weight lifter wouldn't expect to lift 400 lbs without working up to it day by day. Don't expect to sing difficult notes without training your vocal cords everyday.
Getting proper sleep will keep you healthy Your vocal vords get a chance to heal from irritation when you sleep. Aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night.
5. Drink Water
Drinking 8 glasses of water a day will keep you healthy and hydrate your vocal cords. Remember that nothing you eat or drink directly touches your vocal cords when you swallow. The water goes into your system and in turn hydrates your vocal cords. For every caffeinated beverage you drink you should compensate with 5 glasses of water.
6. Watch Your Diet
Everyone is affected differently by foods. Right before you sing it is best to avoid foods high in dairy as they can clog your throat. Foods that are high in spice, citrus, and oils can cause acid reflux. Acid reflux causes mucus production and can cause inflammation on the vocal cords. One of the best ways to avoid acid reflux is to avoid eating 3 hours before you go to bed. For more information on acid reflux click HERE.
7. Don't Smoke!!!
Smoking will destroy your voice, simply not worth it!