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HEALTH:
Exercise Is Not Just For A Flat Stomach
... Give Your Mood And Voice A Lift


By Ann S. Utterback, Ph.D.
Voice Specialist
Author, Broadcaster's Survival Guide

Want to add one thing to your daily life that doesn’t take much time but will improve your voice and performance? 

Well, get moving!  

We all know the benefits of exercise are enormous. We read about it every day. Physically fit people show lots of positive health traits, such as lower blood pressure, improved blood cholesterol, lower resting pulse rate, less body fat, improved capability in dealing with stress, and higher immune function.  

The benefits are so profound that Covert Bailey, a health and fitness expert, jokes about a "King Muscle pill.” If you take two after 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, you'll reap more health benefits than any pill ever invented.

The pills are placebos. Obviously, it's the exercise that makes the difference.  

LIVEN UP YOUR VOICE

But how does exercise improve your voice over work? The most profound thing it does is speed up the blood flow to the brain, bringing much-needed oxygen to brain cells.

Sitting for as little as 20 minutes can cause blood circulation to be a bit sluggish.

The result of this is that our thinking is dulled. Our energy and sharpness drop.

But a study at California State University found that just 10 minutes of brisk walking yields up to two hours of increased energy. And whose read wouldn’t improve from increased energy?

NO SWEAT OK

You don't have to go for the "burn" to get these benefits. For most people, a comfortable increase in heart rate is all that's needed.

You don’t even have to break a sweat!  

You no longer have to think of exercise as separate from your daily life. It's not something for which you have to have expensive equipment or special clothes or a commitment that takes a lot of time and effort.  

A good motto to have when it comes to exercise is that anything is better than nothing. A little moderate exercise goes a long way.  

GET A MOOD LIFT

As a voice over artist, you get another benefit from exercising. Performing an activity that makes you slightly winded for as little as 10 minutes releases beta-endorphins, serotonin, and other feel-good chemicals in our brains.

These make us feel relaxed and drive down the stress hormones in our system.

Stretch this workout time to 20 minutes, and you’ll get a mood lift for as much as 12 hours.   

And a study done at Queensland School of Human Movement Studies found that participants doing only 60 minutes of moderate exercise a week lowered their risk of depression by 30 to 40 percent. 

Think about that. If you get up and move for just 10 minutes, six days a week, you lessen your chances of feeling depressed next time you’re between jobs! This seems like a no-brainer, especially when you also get the increased mental sharpness.  

WORKABLE WORKOUTS


So if I’ve got you thinking about adding some exercise to your day, remember, it's not complicated. You need to do something that raises your heart rate moderately for between 10 to 30 minutes several times per week.  

What you do and where you do it are not too important. You can run in place, jump rope, climb stairs, or work out on an expensive piece of exercise equipment.

You can go to a health club or YMCA, exercise in your living room, or go up and down your stairs at work.

You can walk on the beach, walk on a treadmill, or walk down the halls in a hotel.

It's not rocket science. You just need to move for a sustained period of time as many times a week as possible.  

Just get moving, and you’ll feel the benefits right away. You’ll be healthier and your voice and performance will improve because of that.  
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ABOUT ANN
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 Broadcaster's Survival Guide e-book includes advice on how to improve your voice over performance by making simple lifestyle changes.


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Comments (2)
Ann Utterback
9/27/2012 at 2:47 PM
Love your comment, Elizabeth! Nothing better than hearing from someone who has really found out how much exercise helps. I hear it from clients every day. It's hard to get them moving, but once they do, they are hooked. The payoff is huge!

I have to admit I'm a bit like you, though. I tend to overdo. My trainer says I'm the only person he works with that he has to hold back :-| I try to pace myself, especially on weights, but I'm often in the physical therapy office.....
Elizabeth Holmes
9/26/2012 at 1:47 PM
Thank you for this article, Ann!

It's a great reminder to get serious about a regular exercise routine. (Foolishly, my tendency is to overdo exercise to the point of injury, then follow that by long periods of sloth.)

Also, I can confirm that the CSU study on ten minute walks really "does" work. When my energy lags during long recording sessions, a brisk walk up and down my stairs helps me perform better -- for up to two hours!
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