Sing Your Heart Out

I read all sorts of articles on health and this one was all about heart health and the connection with singing! It comes from cardiologist Dr Steven Gundry MD. This is what he says –

‘…singing enhances something called: heart rate variability, or HRV (basically, the small differences in time between your heart beats). Now, your HRV is incredibly important. It’s a telling sign of your heart’s overall health. If there’s too much variability between your heart beats, it puts a ton of stress on your heart. And over time, that can lead to some serious danger. But when there’s more balance between each beat, that gives your most important organ the time it needs to “catch its breath.”

So, how does singing factor into your heart rate variability? Well, singing is all about breathing. When you sing, your breaths become bigger, deeper, and slower. And in the process, these tiny “in between” beats begin to slow down. Basically, it provides a “dose” of calm to your heart. According to my colleague, Dr. Björn Vickhoff:

“Song is a form of regular, controlled breathing, since breathing out occurs on the song phrases and inhaling takes place between these, it gives you pretty much the same effect as yoga breathing. It helps you relax, and there are indications that it does provide a heart benefit.”

Who would’ve thought singing your favorite song could have such amazing heart health benefits?’

Who would have thought indeed! So next time it’s too wet, hot or otherwise inclement outside for the children to run around, get them singing their hearts out. Dr Gundry’s reference is here –

Vickhoff, B., Malmgren, H., Åström, R., et. al., Music structure determines heart rate variability of singers. Frontiers in Psychology. 2013; 4: 334. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00334

About Kidz-Fiz-Biz

Marlene Rattigan is teacher in Early Childhood & of English as a Second Language & from 1987-2000 was an accredited fitness leader.
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