It’s not a miracle weight-loss tool by any means, but you’ll be pleased to know that singing does burn calories. The better your technique, the more calories you’ll burn, which is a great excuse to hire a singing coach!
How Does Singing Burn Calories?
The reason for this is that there is actually a lot of muscle work involved in singing. You’re putting your lungs to the test, which requires a lot of support from your chest, abdominal, and diaphragm muscles. The more you practice, the stronger these muscles will get, just like in traditional strength exercises.
And in the same way, the stronger your muscles are, the more efficient your resting metabolic rate is, which is your calorie-burning system. As your body gets to work repairing your tired and aching muscles, it is taking energy from your fat stores. So, the more you work that voice, the more calories you could burn!
Sing quietly, and you’ll not burn many calories. But belt out a power ballad and boost that metabolism! It is thought that opera singers burn the most calories due to the fact that this is the most strenuous form of singing, requiring the most breathwork and best stamina.
How to Increase the Burn
Want to get the most out of your calorie-burning vocal exercise? Stand up! On average, someone standing as they sing can burn 136 calories per hour, compared to 100 calories sitting down. If you move around, or dance as you sing, you can increase that burn even more.
Add a guitar or a percussion instrument, and you can bring that burn up to around 200 calories an hour! Plus, your brain gets a great workout too, having to navigate both your singing voice and the musicality of the instrument.
There are a few variables, of course. The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn, and the fitter you are, the harder you’ll have to work to maintain that calorie loss. Age and aerobic ability will also play a role.
Having said that, on its own, singing is unlikely to be a useful weight-loss tool. Pair it with a healthy diet, and you might find more success.
Will Losing Weight Ruin Your Voice?
Actually, losing weight could be beneficial for your singing career – to a point. Your ability to hold a note for longer comes down to air pressure. The more you need, the harder it will be to keep that note alive.
If your vocal cords are weak or untrained, you’ll need more air pressure to sing the way you want. And it is thought that losing weight can reduce the amount of air pressure required. This is known as phonation threshold pressure. The less pressure needed, the better your singing stamina will be.
This is not an invitation to opt into extreme dieting. Your singing muscles need a good balance of vitamins and minerals to work, so without the right nutrients in your body, your voice will suffer. The best way to balance these opposing issues is to eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables while avoiding unhealthy processed foods that do nothing useful for your body.
Not only will this improve your voice, but it will increase your confidence too!
Should You Worry About Gaining Weight?
When you put weight on, tissue starts to build up around the body. What this means for your voice is that there will be excess fat around the chest, neck, and larynx.
This will increase the air pressure needed to maintain your singing ability. However, some professionals argue that the extra tissue brings a softer tone to their voice.
A few pounds, either way, is unlikely to make too much of a difference, so it is not something to worry about. If you put on a lot of weight quickly, there may be other factors at play that you should investigate. But if you are singing regularly, eating well, and adding some physical exercise to your routine, your voice will benefit, no matter what the scales tell you.
Ready to Burn a Few Singing Calories?
There are many more efficient ways to burn calories if that is your main motivation. However, if you want to learn to sing, then we would be delighted to help. We offer group courses and one-to-one lessons for all levels of singers. So whether you have never sung a note in your life or you are a talented vocal musician looking to enhance your technique, we can train you to be the very best you can be!
Tags: Learning how to sing
, vocal technique
, vocal tips