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5 Ways to Take Care of Your Voice

5 Ways to Take Care of Your Voice

Losing your voice — even for just a few hours — can be extremely debilitating and frustrating. It’s one of those things you take for granted until it’s gone. But when it goes, you suddenly realize just how useless you are.

Unfortunately, the only people who ever do anything to prevent issues and protect their voices are entertainers, singers, and professional speakers. This leaves the rest of the population susceptible to problems.

Don’t follow the masses. Instead, make sure you’re doing everything possible to protect your voice. Here are a handful of tips you should find helpful.

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1. Warm up your vocal chords before presentations.

Any time you’re set to give a presentation — or otherwise speak loudly for an extended period of time — it’s smart to warm up your vocal chords. There are a variety of methods for warming up, but most involve breath relaxation, jaw and lip tension release techniques, tongue drills, octave scales, humming, and cool down exercises.

You may feel strange warming up your voice, but remember that your throat is just like any other part of your body. There are muscles that must be stretched and prepared prior to extreme exertion.

2. Avoid unnecessary and sudden volume changes.

Few things are as detrimental to your voice as sudden changes in volume. When you shout or scream with too much force, the lining of your vocal cords can actually become compromised. The muscles in your throat also tighten and breathing becomes lighter. This means your body has to put forth more effort to recover your voice. Ultimately, this can make it worse.

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This is why coaches who frequently yell and scream often lose their voices or deal with issues later in life. “Usually, it’s just a temporary thing that goes away,” says Dr. Michael Pitman of the Mount Sinai Health System. “But sometimes, as the vocal cords try to repair themselves — and you strain and push your voice even harder — that’s where you get into a vicious cycle of vocal decompensation. The more you try and compensate, the more damage you do.”

3. Have a regular voice check up.

Most people get an annual physical — or at least go in for a checkup when something about their health seems wrong. You should treat your voice with the same amount of respect and care.

“Your annual physical probably will not reveal vocal cord problems,” says Dr. Inna Husain, director of the Voice, Airway and Swallowing Program at Rush University Medical Center. “The best way to really assess what’s going on with the voice is for someone attuned to the nuances of vocal changes to listen to your voice — and then look at your vocal cords.”

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4. Don’t clear your throat excessively.

Did you know that you can actually damage your throat by clearing it with too much force? Aggressively coughing and clearing your throat over and over again can actually result in vocal chord damage. Instead of using force to clear your throat, try having a few sips of water.

5. Deal with acid reflux promptly.

Acid reflux is something that thousands of people suffer from. For some, acid reflux comes and goes with specific trigger foods. For others, it’s almost a chronic situation. Regardless of frequency, acid reflux must be dealt with in an appropriate manner. Understand how to take hold of your condition and prevent excess stomach acid from damaging your voice.

Don’t take your voice for granted!

Your voice is one of the single most important assets you have. Since communication is one of the key aspects of our daily lives, you can’t afford to lose your voice — temporarily or permanently.

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Stop taking your voice for granted and start protecting it!

Featured photo credit: peter castleton via flic.kr

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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