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In the words of Ella Fitzgerald, “the only thing better than singing – is more singing”

 

Singing your heart out this Christmas is good for you

By Dominic Hughes, Health correspondent, BBC News Link to BBC website

Singing along to some carols this Christmas will help your physical and mental well being

Whether it's a candle-lit carol service or a rather more raucous evening of karaoke down the pub, many people will enjoy a good old singsong this Christmas.

But belting out "Hark! the herald angels sing" or your own unique interpretation of "I will survive" will not just lift the spirits - it's good for your physical health as well.

It may not feel like it, but singing is a form of exercise, albeit rather gentle.

Filing the lungs with air, increasing the heart rate and getting blood pumping round the body faster can all help our physical health.

For the past few years Heart Research UK has been running a Christmas campaign aimed at getting people singing, simply for the benefit it can bring.

The charity's Barbara Dinsdale says singing is a safe, simple and social activity that everyone can enjoy.

"As it's an aerobic activity singing improves heart health with related benefits to overall health and is linked to longevity, stress reduction, and general health maintenance.

"Singing also brings a great amount of happiness. It is impossible to sing well with a long face because it affects your pitch. Keeping the positive momentum up is essential. If we smile as we sing then people soon feel the benefit in more ways than one."

There is also the adrenalin kick brought on by a performance - a sensation familiar to both professional opera singers and even anyone brave enough to step up to the microphone to sing in front of their friends in the pub.

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