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October 13, 2005

Sing and You are Grinning

Glasgow Daily Record (Scotland):

There can't be many easier ways to get in shape - pick a song, take a deep breath and sing your heart out It maysound unbelievable but research shows singing is very good for your health. By exercising your vocal chords, you can get your body in better shape and make yourself feel happier at the same time.

But it's not just a question of elevating your mood. It seems singing can actually boost the body's immune response and the more passionate your singing, the greater the benefits.

Researchers at the University of California found singing leads to increased levels of immunoglobulin which helps the body to fight infections and is as effective to bodyand mood as light exercise and meditation. So rather than an hour spent contorting yourself into odd positions on a yoga mat, try singing your way through an album.

For the past decade, listening to music has been linked to helping people cope with disease, ageing illnesses and depression. In the US it's even part of treatment programmes in some hospitals. But now it seems singing along can have even greater benefits.

Amanda Baldwin, soprano in the Welsh National Opera Chorus, said: "Singing is definitely good for your health. It is no longer over when the fat lady sings. "In terms of the profession there aren't really that many fat singers anymore - just look at Lesley Garrett. "She keeps herself so slim and still has a beautiful voice. A lot of singers used to be big but it is actually harder to breathe when you have a lot of fat surrounding the abdomen. "It is hard to say what comes first - singing being good for your health or your health being good for your singing, but the two are certainly complimentary. "As a member of the WNO Chorus we are expected not only to sing but also to act and dance as well, so it is important to stay in shape.

"In fact, this season, six of us sopranos have trained as can-can dancers for The Merry Widow, not something we could have done unless we were already very fit and healthy." She added: "Singing also has other benefits such as keeping you young. It also makes you a lot more relaxed and easy going. "You don't have to be a professional singer to get the benefits. Singing is the perfect way to relieve stress and tension whether you sing in a choir or even just in the shower."

Posted by acapnews at October 13, 2005 12:18 AM