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Breath Is The Energy For Speech.
How Exercise Will Boost That Energy
July 25, 2019

By Ann Utterback
Voice Specialist and Author, Broadcast Voice Handbook

I have said many times that breath is the energy for speech.

Want a way to improve your voice and your health at the same time? Think exercise. While you're increasing your aerobic capacity with exercise, you're also improving your breathing.

Lately, loads of new scientific evidence is showing that exercise has more benefits for health than we knew before.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released new guidelines for physical activity recently.

The new benefits they list for exercise include a reduction in eight types of cancer. That's six more than we previously knew about. This along with the increase in breathing capacity, are real winners.

And the moderate intensity exercise that has been suggested since 2008 now has been revised to say ANY exercise counts no matter how long it is.


So, for instance, you could climb a set of stairs during your workday, and that would count toward the 150 minimum minutes recommended for the week.

Even a short exercise period will result in an immediate reduction of stress hormones like you feel when facing a deadline. It will also increase alertness so you can handle that deadline better.

And with daily exercise, your blood pressure will be lower and your sleep better.

How does all this help breathing? Exercising until you have to work slightly hard at breathing is what expands breathing capacity.

So why not reap all the benefits of working out along with improving your voice? It's a win-win!


But while you're doing this exercise during the summer months, remember to stay hydrated.

That's true every day. Find ways to work fluid intake into every day by carrying water with you or having some in the sound booth (if permitted).

To entice yourself to drink more water, drop some sliced strawberries or sliced cucumbers in a bottle at night and chill. What a pleasant treat for the next day, especially these hot days!

Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water every day with a glass or two more when you're doing aerobic exercise.  If you want reminders of when to drink fluids, there are tons of apps for free that will do just that.
Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D., is a voice specialist with more than 40 years experience and has helped hundreds of people make the most of their voices, working with broadcasters, voice over artists and podcasters around the world. An author of eight books and over 50 articles on voice, her Broadcast Voice Handbook is a classic textbook offering more advice on how to improve your voice over performance.


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Comments (1)
Larry Wayne
7/25/2019 at 1:54 PM
This really hit home for me today, Ann! Thanks for the reminder about stress. I lost my sister to cancer just a few weeks ago. She is sure the diagnosis was brought about by her stressful 80 hour a week job! No job is worth robbing you of your good health. And. like a tune up for your car, exercise tunes everything up. I need to find some stairs to walk up!
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