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21 Incredible Benefits of Singing That Will Impress You

21 Incredible Benefits of Singing That Will Impress You

Today didn’t start well. Last night, I gave a difficult presentation at a meeting, and I was still turning things over in my mind when I awoke this morning. My husband and I grumbled at each other, and then I had an unpleasant encounter with someone while out walking the dogs. The day was shaping up to be a real drag.

I sing and play in a local band. We mostly do covers, sort of folk and Latin rock with Celtic, blues, jazz, and all kinds of other stuff thrown in. One of the other band members had given me a CD of some new music for us to work on, so I started listening to it. In spite of the murky thoughts lingering in my mind, I found myself starting to sing along, and before I knew it, two hours had gone by. During that two hours, I was in heaven, exploring the different sounds my voice made with the recording, analyzing the upcoming chords, anticipating the holes in the harmony that I needed to fill, sometimes hitting a bad note or getting the words wrong, but it didn’t matter. I was completely immersed in the process. My mind simply didn’t have any room to mull over unpleasant memories or people about which I could do nothing.

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Now, I feel wonderful: light, refreshed, relaxed … like I just woke up from a nice nap or got back from a beautiful walk. My worries from last night and this morning are completely gone, and I’m ready to take on the world, including writing this blog post. Which is going remarkably easily. Much more easily than it would have gone with my previous gloomy, distracted mindset.

What happened?

Well, scientists certainly would like to know. Whether we’re belting out a favorite song in the car with the stereo turned up loud, sitting with a guitar on a balcony or in a coffee house, taking center stage as part of a musical theater production or joining our voice with those of others in a church or community choir, there seems to be something almost magical about singing’s effect on the human body. My own grandfather insists that he overcame his depression through getting up every morning and singing before the sun rose. In study after study, the benefits of singing included not just the mental, but the emotional, physical, and even spiritual well-being of its participants. One might even be tempted to call singing a cure-all.

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Here’s a rundown of just some of the health benefits of singing that have been reported:

Twenty Health Benefits of Singing

Physical

1. Works the lungs, tones up the intercostals and diaphragm.
2. Improves sleep
3. Benefits cardio function by improving aerobic capacity
4. Relaxes overall muscle tension
5. Improves posture.
6. Opens up sinuses and respiratory tubes
7. With training, could help decrease snoring
8. Releases endorphins
9. Boosts immune system
10. Helps improve physical balance in people affected by illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease

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Emotional

12. Increases self-esteem and confidence
13. Increases feelings of wellbeing
14. Increases mental alertness
15. Enhances mood
16. Reduces, anger, depression, and anxiety
17. Reduces stress
18. Stimulates creativity
19. Energizes
20. Alleviates loneliness and acts as a social lubricant

Wait…there’s one more benefit to singing:

It’s fun!

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I’ve suspected for awhile now that having fun is way more important that our culture would like us to think. Having fun feels good. And when we feel good, our minds work better, our emotions work better, our bodies work better, we make better decisions, we relate to other people better … in short, everything works better.

Turns out, my observations are being backed up by science.

Physicists discovered awhile ago that we and everything we see exists in a soup of spinning, vibrating particles. Now they’re finding out that what we think and feel actually creates magnetic fields that cause these particles to echo our thoughts and feelingsAin’t that a kicker? It’s like we’re walking around in a 3-D universal mirror. If we smile, the mirror smiles. If we frown, the mirror frowns. So anything we do that makes us feel good literally spins our bodies and our worlds into feeling good, too.

How are you going to discover for yourself the benefits of singing?

Featured photo credit: Singing In The Shower/Paul Scott via photopin.com

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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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