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I'm happy because I sing!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Here's an article I was recently asked to write for a magazine in the UK. I thought some of my SP friends might enjoy it.

SINGING IS GOOD FOR YOU

Today’s frantic lifestyle can make us easy prey to those pushing the latest health fad. Claims about the efficacy of super foods, supplements or exercise equipment have us clambering to the shops in the hope that the answer to all our ills has finally arrived.

Well stop right there! Put your money away and instead turn to something you’re probably doing already and possibly even unknowingly! In fact we’ve been doing it for thousands of years and we happily pay to witness other people doing it! Sadly it’s something most people get a bit coy about when doing it themselves but I hope to persuade you to give it a whirl again if you’ve lapsed.

In 1605 the Spanish writer Cervantes said, ‘He who sings frightens away his ills’. Yes, this miracle cure is singing! That might sound a bit far fetched but Cervantes isn’t the only historical figure to advocate singing for health. In his ‘Psalmes, Sonets, & Songs’ of 1588, the eminent English composer William Byrd offered eight reasons why people should learn how to sing. They include:

• The exercise of singing is delightfull to Nature & good to preserve the health of Man.
• It doth strengthen all the parts of the brest, & doth open the pipes.
• It is a singular good remedie for a stuttering & stammering in the speech.

The cynic might say that he was hoping to persuade more people to buy his music but research over the centuries has concurred with Byrd’s theories. The act of singing, even if you think you’re no good, can have multiple benefits both physical and psychological, especially if you do it with others. Choral singing has been proven to be particularly effective. The social aspect is uplifting, it relieves stress and leads to better sleep, it builds confidence and self-esteem and improves breathing. Research at the University of Manchester has discovered that the sacculus - an organ in the inner ear connected to the part of the brain which registers pleasure - is stimulated by low frequency, high intensity sounds such as singing within seconds of hearing that sound. No matter how you sound to others, singing improves your mood. As William James, the American psychologist and philosopher said, ‘I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing’. So why not give it a try and see for yourself how singing makes you feel?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOLAZYBUTT110 8/31/2011 9:51AM

    Someone sent me your blog. enjoyable! I do sing! and it has alway helped me get thru the bad days! It puts me somewhere else when I am sad, it makes me happy! You are so right! Recently I sang a solo for my church, for a full house of two congregations, and it was a great gift to others but also myself! Its nice to sing and know your singing is not only enjoyed but appreciated. So many came up to me afterwards and congratulated me on my performance. I never expected that, for I sing unto G*D and its the greatest gift I cna give to him! I know he appreciates my voice of praises! susana

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ELISADENK 8/30/2011 7:29PM

    emoticon

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MINIMOE1 8/30/2011 4:28PM

    Very interesting, well-written article, Maggie & so true. I can't imagine life without music & singing - it's been a saviour many times over.

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INFLATED 8/30/2011 11:57AM

    I am alone in my house many, many hours. I sing and I have always enjoyed it. A teacher gave a song book to me when I was in the fourth grade. I cherished it and would go through it and sing every song I knew. I never learned to read music, but that has never stopped me from singing.

Now I like to sing the old hymns and may sing two or three each morning. It seems my day goes better when I sing to the Lord.

I enjoyed your blog.

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INFLATED 8/30/2011 11:56AM

    I am alone in my house many, many hours. I sing and I have always enjoyed it. A teacher gave a song book to me when I was in the fourth grade. I cherished it and would go through it and sing every song I knew. I never learned to read music, but that has never stopped me from singing.

Now I like to sing the old hymns and may sing two or three each morning. It seems my day goes better when I sing to the Lord.

I enjoyed your blog.

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INFLATED 8/30/2011 11:55AM

    I am alone in my house many, many hours. I sing and I have always enjoyed it. A teacher gave a song book to me when I was in the fourth grade. I cherished it and would go through it and sing every song I knew. I never learned to read music, but that has never stopped me from singing.

Now I like to sing the old hymns and may sing two or three each morning. It seems my day goes better when I sing to the Lord.

I enjoyed your blog.

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FENWAYGIRL18 8/30/2011 11:50AM

    i agree singing makes me happy emoticon

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HARTKITTY 8/30/2011 11:39AM

    I so agree

I Whistle a Happy Tune Lyrics from the King and I

[ANNA]

Whenever I feel afraid
I hold my head erect
And whistle a happy tune
So no one will suspect
I'm afraid.

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows
I'm afraid.

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well!

I whistle a happy tune
And ev'ry single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I'm not afraid.

Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

You may be as brave
As you make believe you are

[LOUIS]

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows,
I'm afraid.

[LOUIS AND ANNA]

The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well!

I whistle a happy tune
And ev'ry single time
The happiness in the tune
Convinces me that I'm not afraid.

Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are....


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Day 5 Cobweb challenge - 2lb down

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Well I'm keeping at it although the weather is not helping! I've clocked up over 10,000 steps every day but haven't hit the 12000 target yet as the weather is so changeable. The past 4 days' walks have started in fog and drizzle so thick there's no point in taking the camera but halfway through the sun breaks out and I have to shed all the waterproofs. Invariably it's raining again before we get home and so humid :( I know it's only water but it's still annoying as I'm so fired up. The dog and I are always covered in mud and to be honest I'm not sure who smells the worst!

I have taken a different route each day - helped by the local farmer who's moving livestock around all over the place at the mo. 8 new bullocks in my nearest field have made me walk the long way round and the sheep dipping up the hill has sent me in completely different directions. Archie has been a hit with coach loads of tourists who must be so disappointed by the weather. He's such a sweet dog and always happy to have complete strangers making a fuss!

Having said all that I've managed to keep to a healthy diet and have shed 2 of the 4 pounds I gained during my visit to Holland.

Probably the best thing is that I'm feeling very chilled: I know that stress is a big factor in my weight problems. I'm completely decluttering and deep cleaning my house at the moment so that by the time I go back to work it'll be less chaotic at home. I do think that will help enormously.

We have visitors descending tomorrow so I hope I can stick to my plan. Fortunately they enjoy walking so here's hoping the weather improves enough for me to show off our gorgeous scenery. It gets a bit embarrassing when you have to say 'on a clear day you really can see.... a castle, a mountain, the world's largest water wheel, Ireland.....'





As far as reading books goes, well I have chosen which one I want to read first but am still to open its covers.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SINNIBLONDE 8/14/2011 7:37AM

    Keep going -- you sound on track!

Debb
:)

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MINIMOE1 8/4/2011 11:24AM

    Too bad about the weather, but glad to see you're soldiering on. Sounds like some of the summers I "enjoyed" growing up on Canada's east coast. Gotta love that maritime climate. Congrats on the 2 lb loss. emoticon

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DMT1956 8/4/2011 4:16AM

    great visitors like exercise

so you have positive company.

i just arranged to volunteer my first week holiday

on a busy project where plenty of exercise will be required.

the second week at a music festival with my teen neice

that should be the second week of exercise :)

then my daughters 30th birthday party

indian curry and lots of family gathered can't wait.

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Day 2 - Cobwebs challenge

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Well it's all going quite well on the walking front and I've managed to clock up over 11000 steps both days and taken different routes each time. I've eaten healthily with lots of fruit and vegetables and stuck to my calorie allowance.

Is the house looking any better yet? Well no! Tomorrow's weather forecast isn't great so I'll blitz the kitchen and hope to get my steps in mostly by pottering about. The tide times are right for morning frisbees on the beach with the dog so I hope it's not raining.

I've taken some great pics on my 4 mile hike today and will upload them in due course - when I've figured out how with this new camera.

All this fresh air has made me quite tired so an early night for me after my quick wander down the lane with the dog. So glad I did the SP Sleep Challenge a few months ago, it has made quite a difference.





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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 8/1/2011 12:35PM

    Looking forward to your pics! Love the lilac on your page. Reminds me of my family's house on Long Island and my great grandmother. We had an enormous lilac bush out back.

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MINIMOE1 7/31/2011 6:59PM

    Sounds like you've hit the holiday ground running - or at least walking! Looking froward to seeing the pictures - such a lovely place is your " precious stone set in the silver sea" (Egad! Quoting the Bard...I may have been out in our 30 degree C temps a bit too long emoticon

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Summer holidays day 1 - clearing the cobwebs

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well I have the luxury of a whole month off and I intend to clear up my act big style.

By the end of this month I will have:

1. Walked at least 12,000 steps a day
2. Discovered a new route at least once a week with photos to prove it
3. Got the hang of my new camera (it's got more programmes than my washing machine)
4. Completely decluttered my house, car and garage
5. Lost 12lbs
6. Caught up with household paperwork/car service/sorted out house repairs
7. Read 4 books
8. Blogged at least twice a week to help stay on track

Well the sun's shining, my pedometer is set, I have my route planned and the dog is looking hopefully at me with his big brown eyes so here goes....




emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 8/1/2011 12:34PM

    And....she's off!!!! You ambitious gal you! Sounds wonderful, don't forget to relax! emoticon

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PCOH051610 7/31/2011 1:49PM

    It sounds like a great plan! Have fun!

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MINIMOE1 7/30/2011 11:06AM

    Summer holidays seem to fly by - good for you for planning yours out so well. I'd need longer than a month to declutter my house & garage though emoticon but a l;ittle bit every day works wonders. Looking forward to the photos & to cheering you on as you work on your goals. Happy holidays!

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Plans

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I have been feeling so much better recently. I have suffered for almost 2 years following a fall and misdiagnosed injuries. I finally have the support I need and things are definitely on the up. I have more energy, generally a better mood and my leg muscles are getting stronger every day. I have worked to improve my balance and I'm very much more confident when out and about.

So I have decided to set myself a challenge:

In 360 days I shall take part in a race walk and achieve 33 miles in 10 hours. The proper long distance training won't start in ernest until January but I'm already increasing my distance over time as the weather is so nice at the mo. It's a challenging walk because the route is very hilly in places. I've done it before but never to the 33 mile point so I'll really be stretching myself.

Watch this space!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

INFLATED 6/29/2011 7:40AM

    Those are awesome goals.

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