Singing can benefit us both mentally and physically and the best part is that you don’t even need to be good at it. Simply belting out some chords can help you to improve your overall health and there is a ton of research to back up these claims.
The benefits of singing include;
- Strengthening of the muscles of the upper body
- Strengthening of the muscles in the mouth and throat
- A reduction in sleep apnea
- A reduction in snoring
- Strengthening of the lungs
- Increasing oxygen circulation throughout the body
- A better regulated heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved breathing
- Decrease in Asthma symptoms and flare ups
- Greater cognition and mental alertness
- Reduce Parkinson’s Disease symptoms
- Reduce lung disease symptoms
The act of singing is actually a physical activity. When we sing we have to stand straight or sit straight while breathing deeply from the diaphragm. While singing our voices are presented using the muscles of the upper part of the body along with the jaw, neck and face muscles. It is through the activation of these muscles that the physical effects of singing can be garnered. How so?
With the use of the above mentioned muscles our posture is improved which in turn releases body tension. While doing this we are strengthening the muscles that are being worked as well as the muscles found in the palate, roof of the mouth and throat. The strengthening of these muscles leads to a reduction in sleep apnea and a reduction in snoring.
Because of the deep and rhythmical breathing that is involved when we sing the lungs are strengthened over time. This ensures that there is more oxygen flowing through the circulatory system and into the brain. With better oxygen flow through the body comes a more regulated heart rate along with better cognition, lower blood pressure and better mental alertness.
Research done on choir singers proved that while singing in unison their heart beats where also in unison in relation to the speed at which they were breathing. The study also showed how the heart rates also directly affected the music’s melody. Members in the study had their pulses measured and it was found that the pulses rose and fell in sync with other members of the choir as they sang.
A retrospective review of studies analyzed in 2014 over 800 studies, the analysis proved that music therapy involving singing did help to relieve symptoms in those who suffered from Asthma.
In 2012 researches at Cardiff University uncovered some evidence of improvement in lung cancer patients who were engaged in choral singing. The research results revealed that persons in the singing group had a higher expiratory capacity than those who were not a part of the group.
The Skylarks choir for persons with Parkinson’s disease was established by Brenville Nacox, a music professor. One of the members of the choir noted that his voice strengthened even though he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago. The improvements were as a result of the extended use of his vocal chords and the deep breathing required for singing.
While a lot of the data collected was based off of people singing in choirs, the same benefits can be achieved by simply singing at home in your shower or singing in the car. To make it a bit more fun and to get more people in on the benefits of singing, why not invest in a karaoke machine and make this beneficial past time and fun one for all to engage in! The physical effects of singing with friends, family and other loved ones are just the beginning. Imagine the laughter and happiness that ensues that will also help to improve your emotional and mental health as well.