Did you know that singing can help you stay healthy and happy?
Remember your choir teacher in school encouraging you to sing “from your belly”? Well, that’s an informal way of telling you to use your diaphragm (the large muscle that separates your heart and lungs in your chest from your abdominal cavity). Singing from your diaphragm is a great way to promote a healthy lymphatic system, which then promotes a healthy immune system.
There have been several studies confirming the benefits of singing – from improving mood and lung capacity, to increasing alertness and confidence, to toning your abs.
One, conducted at the University of Frankfurt in Germany, found that choral members had higher levels of immunoglobulin-A and cortisol – markers of enhanced immunity – after they sang Mozart’s “Requiem” than before. Just listening to the music didn’t have this effect.
In another study the results were just as impressive, “singing increased subjects’ levels of immunoglobulin-A protein, an antibody associated with lower risks of everything from rheumatoid arthritis to cancer, by to up 250%!” says Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., author of Uncommon H.O.P.E.: A Powerful Guide to Creating and Extraordinary Life.
Finally, Professor Graham Welch, Chair of Music Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, sums it up for us:
“The health benefits of singing are both physical and psychological. Singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity that increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. Singing has psychological benefits because of its normally positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional well-being. Psychological benefits are also evident when people sing together as well as alone because of the increased sense of community, belonging and shared endeavour.”
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go sing!
. . . Umm, have we mentioned lately, an Aria is a song . . .