As I travel to Denver for the National Speakers Association Influence Conference, I am reminded of just how physically odd travel time can be.
Here are a few steps you can take to arrive with a voice that is performance ready.
This one surprises no one, as breathing recycled air at altitude is incredibly drying. The best hydration plan is the one you started last week but better late than never. Warm water is easier for your body to use readily and adding a little citrus can help manage the moisture. Singers and other marathon voice users should also consider a humidiflyer. This device allows you to avoid the impacts that cabin air can have on the vocal folds.
If you can sleep on the plane, you should. After a couple of glasses of water, taking a nap can help you navigate the transition in-flight. The temptation to work or dive into a game, or show is real but your voice will thank you if you catch a few Zs.
- Manage the Ph
Eating a green apple, or adding a slice of lemon to your water can help maintain a healthy Ph for hydration. The enzymes in green apple specifically have also proven effective in the production and maintenance of healthy mucus in the vocal tract.
- Walk it off
If you can’t sleep, get up and walk the length of the plane once or twice per hour during your flight. Sitting for such a long stretch can cause tension or gripping in the Psoas which will all too quickly end up impacting your breath.
- Shake it out
Do a standing tremor. A recurring flight issue is shallow breathing. Add to that being seated, and other restrictions in movement and you have a recipe for structured breathing that is less than ideal. The sooner you disrupt that pattern, the happier your breathing and as a result, your voice will be. A standing tremor can be as simple as a forward bend with transitioning very, very slowly between bent and straight or standing with arms stretched overhead, hips forward to create a slight backward arch. If a tremor doesn’t naturally occur, actually shake your body out.
Most importantly listen to what your voice is telling you and adapt accordingly.
Gina Razón is the principal voice specialist at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service voice and speech studio in Boston’s Back Bay. She has over 16 years of experience both as a teacher of voice and speech, and a voraciously curious voice user. Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker. For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit www.growvoice.com.