The vocal health tips below will also be helpful if you're serious about singing like a professional. If you sing as a hobby of for your own personal pleasure you can be selective about what vocal health tips you'd like to adopt. Whatever you do, don't let these vocal health tips put you off singing.
Singers Vocal Health Tips:Exercise
Singing is exercise, and a strong respiratory and cardiovascular system will help you sing better. Some voice teachers recommend a routine of abdominal exercises to strengthen your core muscles, cardio exercises to improve your lung capacity, and yoga to improve your posture and focus your breath.
Singers Vocal Health Tips: Food
Before you sing, you should avoid eating. In particular, there are a number of foods you should avoid: citrus fruits, dairy products, chocolate, fatty foods, and anything that is particularly difficult to digest.
These foods cause extra mucous to secrete onto your vocal cords, interfering with the vibration process. As a result, you may find yourself clearing your throat often as a result of too much phlegm in the back of your throat. Clearing your throat in itself is harmful to the vocal cords—along with coughing and sneezing. Instead of clearing your throat, try to swallow.
Singers Vocal Health Tips: Drink
In two short words: drink water. Keeping your body hydrated is the most important thing you can do for your vocal cords. Water enables your body to produce the lubrication that keeps your vocal cords functioning properly. Without it, your vocal cords can swell, redden, and even form nodes as a result of friction.
If you are going to be a professional singer, or if you are going to use your voice beyond a normal amount, you need to think beyond the recommended eight glasses a day. Professional throat doctors recommend that you drink double that amount. That’s one gallon of water … every single day!
Beverages like soda pop and juice don’t cut it. That’s because they contain additives like caffeine (which acts as a diuretic and actually promotes dehydration), sugar (which may lead to the production of thick mucous in excess amounts), and citric acid (which creates phlegm). Milk is a prime culprit for phlegm production. Alcohol gives you a double whammy: it not only leads to dehydration but also produces a sedative effect.
You may think that if your voice is sore, a hot drink is the perfect solution. Wrong. Heat causes the blood vessels in your head, neck, and throat area to swell, affecting your vocal cords. On the other hand, anything too cold (e.g., with ice cubes floating in it) will cause blood vessels to constrict, causing tissues to become dry. The best solution is to drink cool or lukewarm drinks … if you want your voice to be at its best.
Singers Vocal Health Tips: Steam
You’d think that saunas and steam baths would be great for your voice, but instead they cause you to sweat, drying out your body and your vocal cords. A better option is to sit in front of a cool humidifier, which allows water droplets to come directly in contact with the vocal cords and moisten the tissues.
Singers Vocal Health Tips:Medicinal Remedies
I don’t know a single voice teacher who recommends a medicinal spray or throat lozenge to cure problems with the voice. These products will sooth irritated membranes in the throat, but they have no effect on the vocal cords themselves. As a result, they won’t help you sing better … though they may make your throat feel better.
Singers Vocal Health Tips:Times of the Year
You may have seen singers walking outside with scarves wrapped around their throats and mouths, even when it wasn’t that cold outside. Keeping your singing apparatus warm and well protected is a good idea. When a woman’s natural chemistry changes as a result of menstruation or pregnancy, she may find that her voice isn’t as responsive. This is completely normal.
As I said don't let these vocal health tips put you off singing. Even a few small adjustments will help you to sing better, in particular choosing to drink more water, which is good habit to get into anyway. If you'd really want to sing like a star then I highly recommend one of the following home singing courses: