You may be thinking, “vocal health? I’m not even a singer.” Well, have you ever noticed that your throat feels like it has been torn apart after a weekend of drinking or shouting across a crowded bar? Even speaking loudly at a restaurant can cause strain on your vocal cords. And if you’re living in a dry climate or are holed up in a cramped New York City apartment, your throat can suffer.
The key to healthy vocal cords is moisture, moisture and more moisture. Make sure to carry around an eco-friendly, 32oz. water bottle and plan to refill it at least three to four times a day. Water actually flushes and dilutes mucus so that it won’t sit and collect on your vocal cords. This is extra helpful for those days when you’re feeling a bit under the weather.
When you feel like you need that second or third cup of coffee, remember that caffeine is a drying agent that can inhibit the natural healing of the voice.
Smoking is the worst thing you can do to your vocal cords, as it’s extremely drying and damaging. Even if you’re not puffing away yourself, spending time in smoky environments like a crowded patio or bar means you’re still breathing in secondhand smoke that will inevitably cause irritation.
For an extra dose of moisture, get a humidifier. It will not only prevent and soothe irritation, but also purify the air.
Remember, there are no short cuts to healing. Sleep, H2O, regular exercise to promote healthy blood flow and self-care are the best remedies for over-use or strain of any kind, be it vocal strain or a tired muscle. Your voice is a unique muscle and must be treated with as much care as the rest of your body.
Everyone’s voice should be heard!