MountainStar Health - February 22, 2019

If you like to belt out show tunes in the shower or hit a karaoke bar on weekends, you may be doing more than boosting your mood. Singing also improves breathing ability, according to the British Lung Foundation (BLF). Research shows that people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who sing regularly report less shortness of breath and better lung function.

Here's why.

  • Singing teaches you to breathe slower and deeper. If you have COPD, your airways are likely narrow or obstructed, making it difficult to take deep breaths and empty out your lungs. Singing encourages deeper breathing and breath control.
  • Singing strengthens breathing muscles. Singing engages abdominal muscles and makes them more effective. So join the chorus!
  • Singing improves posture. If your voice is breathy or hoarse, it may be caused by poor posture, according to BLF researchers. Singing encourages you to sit and stand straighter to get out every note.
The number of breaths an average adult takes every day.

If you're healthy, you'll inhale and exhale about 12-18 times per minute, but respiration rises to 40-60 breathes per minute when you exercise vigorously.