With the temperature dropping and days getting shorter, your voice will need extra care and precaution if you want to keep it at peak condition. So, how do you care for your voice during the cold winter months? Continue reading to learn more about winter vocal care and what you can do to keep your voice in shape.
General Vocal Care
If you want to keep your voice healthy and in shape year-round, there are a few things that you are going to need to do. These being to eat well, drink water, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you do all of these you can, for the most part, keep your voice in shape.
What you eat for your meals plays an important role in your voice. For example, if you have a sore throat, honey can help by soothing it. However, not all foods are good for your voice. Check out one of our previous articles to learn more about some Foods For Your Voice: 4 Good and 4 Bad.
Water is important for your voice year-round as it moisturizes your vocal cords. However, during the winter, it is especially important as the cold air is usually dry and you will most likely need more water. Another thing to remember is that if you drink coffee, tea, alcohol, or any drink with caffeine, you will need to drink even more water to balance it out.
Exercising can benefit almost all aspects of your overall health. It can also be beneficial for your voice. While it may not be directly affecting it, one way is that exercising can reduce your stress levels. This can be very beneficial if you have an audition or big performance coming up.
As with exercise, getting enough sleep at night is important for almost all aspects of your health. Sleep allows you to rest your voice after a long day. It can also help prevent your voice from being fatigued. The experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center state that “Lack of sleep and fatigue reduces our breath support and negatively affects the mechanics of voice production, which causes our muscles to work harder than they need to when vocalizing.” Check out this article to learn more about Why Sleep Is Important For Your Vocal Health.”
Winter Vocal Care
If you want to best take care of your voice during the winter, you are going to want to continue to practice the general vocal care tips mentioned above, along with some winter vocal care tips too. If you do all of them, you can better ensure that your voice stays healthy.
During the winter, if you do not already, you should get into the habit of breathing nasally. This means breathing in through your nose. This can not only filter out germs and bacteria, but it can also help protect your vocal cords from the cold, dry, winter air. If you are inside, you should be fine to breathe through your mouth as the air is not as cold and dry as it is outside.
Steam can rehydrate your vocal cords faster than drinking water would. When you drink a glass of water, it needs to travel through your system before it reaches your larynx. This can take around eight hours, however, if you inhale steam from a steamer, humidifier, or steam room you can rehydrate your vocal cords immediately. The experts at Mount Sinai Health System recommend using a humidifier at home to help prevent winter laryngitis.
Warm drinks like herbal teas can be very beneficial if you have a sore throat. They can help soothe it while also cutting down any mucus that has built up. some things to add to your favorite tea are licorice, ginger, and honey. It is also important to remember that you should avoid any drinks with caffeine as it can dry out your throat even further and if you do, drink more water.
There are many ways to keep your voice in shape this winter season. If you continue to practice the general vocal care tips, and combine them with the special winter vocal care tips, you can further protect your voice from the cold weather.