In an age of ever-changing fitness trends, it’s easy to neglect one of the busiest organs in your body: your larynx! Also known as the ‘voice box’, the larynx is the organ that allows you to speak, sing and do so much more with your voice. Here are three simple ways to keep your larynx healthy and functional.
Get Plenty of Rest
Whether you’re a public speaker, a garage band vocalist or you hire yourself out as female or male voice talent, getting enough rest is crucial to keeping your voice in check. Make sure you’re practicing good sleep hygiene by staying on a regular sleep schedule and getting at least eight hours of rest every night; this gives your body time to heal and repair itself, and this extends to your larynx. It’s also important to physically rest your larynx, so remember to take frequent breaks when using your voice for long periods of time.
Do Your Warmups
The larynx works a bit like your muscles do — it needs to be properly warmed up before extensive use. Take some time around the beginning of the day and before you do any voice work to warm up your larynx with basic vocal exercises. It’s best to start with breathing exercises and gentle vocals like humming before moving on to things like scales and runs. Your larynx can become damaged if it isn’t warm and properly circulated with blood, or if you strain your voice too hard or too soon. Treat your voice box with care!
Water is critical for your body to function properly, and being hydrated can make or break your vocal performance. Staying hydrated keeps your larynx and vocal cords moistened and lubricated, which makes it easier for them to move and function. Keep a water bottle on hand and drink generously throughout the day, remembering to refill your bottle whenever you can. Not staying hydrated can dry your throat out and make it uncomfortable or even painful to use your voice, so give your larynx a rest and take a sip of water if your voice is beginning to feel strained.
Once you know what you’re doing, it’s fairly easy to take good care of your larynx: just like all of your other organs and muscles, it needs plenty of rest, fluids and preparation before long periods of work. If you suffer from any major pain, discomfort or unusual changes to your voice or throat, speak with your regular doctor or ENT specialist.