Ten Tips to Keeping Voice Fit
How to take care of your voice and understand how it works will help you to avoid voice problems.
Your breath fills your lungs with air on inhalation; and when you exhale the air passes up through the vocal folds (cords) in the larynx (voice box) creating vibrations (sound waves) that are resonated in your chest, throat, mouth and nasal space to become your voice sound.
- Always do a vocal warm-up before any speaking event; daily if you speak at work for extended periods to groups, or in large spaces to reduce the strain on your voice. A warm-up should start with stretches in your body, especially around neck, shoulders, jaw, face, mouth, tongue, and lips to release muscle tension and promote relaxation.
- Drink lots of water daily (8 glasses or more) to stay hydrated to keep vocal folds’ (cords) mucous lubricated.
- Stay away from caffeinated drinks or alcohol just before speaking. They will dry out your vocal folds. Don’t consume diary products or spicy foods before speaking; it produces excessive mucous in your larynx. If you suffer from reflux, this is another irritant to your voice.
- Tight muscles in your body will lead directly to tighten your vocal folds which will then produce a higher pitch level in your voice sound.
- Avoid frequent throat-clearing or coughing as it is harsh on your larynx and causes vocal fatigue, drink water instead.
- Avoid talking loudly over background noise in places such as pubs, restaurants, nightclubs, and factories. Yelling or shouting from the throat over noisy environments at sports events may cause permanent damage to the voice. Project your voice from your diaphragm not your throat.
- Irritants such as perfumes and smoke will cause your vocal folds to redden and swell. Throat cancers are caused by smoking and chewing tobacco. Choose an environment that has more humidity. Check your room’s ventilation system for clear air flow.
- Check ingredients of some medicated cough syrups as they can cause irritation and dryness of vocal folds.
- Practise diaphragmatic breathing for relaxing your body, mind, and avoiding any speech problems.
- Take time during the day to rest your voice without any speech or a whisper
Always check with a qualified Medical Doctor Specializing in Voice, an 'ENT' MD, a Speech Pathologist,
or Speech Therapist for any medical advice and treatment regarding serious voice challenges.