Recreational Singing May Make You Live Longer

By: Chris Chew

So you love to sing? Besides deriving the recreational pleasure of good singing, do you know that singing is actually good for your health and can even extend your longevity provided that you sing with the correct techniques?

The National Charity, Heart Research of the United Kingdom intends to get everyone in the world singing from 8-15 December 2008 to help raise funds to find cures for heart diseases and also because this charity believes that there are sufficient evidence to show that singing is good for your health.

Professor Graham Welch, who is the Chairman of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London has studied developmental and medical aspects of singing for more than three decades said not so long ago that health benefits of good singing are both physical and psychological.

Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and it exercises major muscle groups in the upper body. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well being.

Psychological and emotional benefits are also pretty evident when people sing together as a group because of the increased sense of community bonding, belonging and shared recreation pursuit.

According to a research conducted by leading singer cum singing teacher, Helen Astrid from The Helen Astrid Singing Academy in London, regular vocal cord exercises are also thought to prolong life.

This was what Helen said, "Singing is an excellent way to keep fit because you are exercising your lungs and heart (cardio vascular exercise). Furthermore, your body produces endorphins (happy hormones), just like when you eat a bar of chocolate except that with singing is that you won't consume any extra calories as in eating chocolates! Singing not only increases your lung capacity, it improves posture, clears respiratory tracks and sinuses and can even increase mental alertness through greater oxygenation. Singing often also helps to tone and firm up your abdominal and back muscles as well. However, that is if you are singing correctly using the correct singing techniques."

"Another great benefit of singing is that it can keep you looking young since you are gently exercising your facial muscles", added Helen who looks more than a decade younger than she really is. Isn't this the most natural and inexpensive anti-aging treatment?

According to the findings of a joint study conducted by Harvard and Yale, singing can even help you live longer. The study showed that choral singing increased the life expectancy of the population of New Haven, Connecticut. This report concluded that this was because singing promotes a healthy heart and an enhanced mental state.

So if singing is really good for your health, then let's have fun, keep fit and healthy by singing more often. However, do bear in mind that it is not just the mere action of singing that gives you all these health benefits, but correct singing that do.

Remember the song by Helen Reddy "Keep On Singing"? Go on, sing away!

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