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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Singing to the Tune of Health

If I were to ask you to name a type of athlete, would singer come to mind? Probably not, but now think about George Frideric Handel's "Halleluljah Chorus" from his musical masterpiece "Messiah." Can you imagine the degree of stamina and the amount of lung capacity that is required by choral singers to perform this piece?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that "singing while actively moving about" requires an energy expenditure of about 3 to 6 METS. On the lighter intensity side, this would require an effort equivalent to ballroom dancing.  On the more vigorous end, singing would equate to playing a match of doubles tennis.

Strong epidemiological evidence to support the role of signing in promoting health and well-being is still somewhat lacking; however, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that it may be beneficial physically, mentally, emotionally and socially--especially for older adults and individuals with lung disease.

Proposed Health Benefits of Singing
  • Stronger respiratory (breathing) muscles
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Greater aerobic endurance
  • Improved posture
  • Stronger immune system
  • Increased blood circulation
  • Improved memory/mental alertness
  • Increased energy
  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Enhanced mood
  • Increased self-esteem/self-confidence
  • Greater social connectedness
Although there is not enough evidence currently to suggest that singing can be used to replace a traditional exercise program, it is an activity that can be used to complement such a regimen.  At the very least, singing a happy tune can help you to pass the time during your workout -- something that I, myself, have been known to do.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Singing and Health: Summary of a Systemic Mapping and Review of Non-Clinical Research: Stephen Clift, Rosalia Staricoff and Christine Whitmore; 2008

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