Singing does burn calories. This is because to sing effectively, you need a lot of stamina and technique. With each note you hit, your body uses numerous muscles to engage, aid breathing, power the voice and produce a smooth, consistent tone.
Curious about how long you’d have to sing to work off a slice of pizza or roast dinner? In this article, we’ll reveal approximately how many calories you burn per hour, as well as the factors that increase your energy output while performing.
Does singing burn calories?
Have you ever wondered how many calories you burn while singing? Or perhaps you want to calculate your energy output as part of an overall fitness plan? Hitting the high notes and singing powerful or fast numbers requires a tremendous effort; you’ll likely feel exhausted after a performance.
Singing exerts a lot of energy and it’s hard to sing on the pitch if you’re physically unfit, as you need to be able to power your muscles. Your abdominals play a large part in supporting your voice, so if you’re a good singer, these will be working hard.
You should also consider your style of singing when calculating calories. If you are a power singing and you belt out ballads then you’re going to use more energy than someone with a quiet, lyrical or folk style voice. Those singers that sing in a style more reminiscent of talking should expect to burn less. But if you’re rapping hard and fast, you may also use a lot of energy.
Opera singing requires a lot of breath and stamina, so opera singers will typically shed more calories than a contemporary artist. If you really want to up your calorie game, try singing without a mic like an opera singer. You’ll be doing a kind of cardiovascular exercise at the same time as singing. This is also a great way to enlarge your lung capacity and increases the oxygen in your bloodstream, all excellent for your health.
Calories burned while singing
Singing high notes is more of a challenge than hitting the low notes -it requires using your abdominal muscles to work harder in generating the breath. You have to use your body more when hitting high notes to gear yourself up for the challenge.
Your weight, effort, position and movement affect how many calories you can burn. If you like to move around the stage, you’ll naturally burn more calories than sitting down, because you’re engaging more muscles. If you sit down during a performance, your heart won’t have to work as hard to pump blood around your body. This means that your metabolic rate isn’t as high as it could be if you were standing.
How many calories does singing burn per hour?
Singing burns around 136 calories per hour, depending on your body size and amount of energy you use. Whilst singing you use the abdominal muscles for exhalation and the diaphragm for inhalation, engaging muscles to boost your metabolic rate and burn calories.
Every person is a different size and puts in a different level of effort when singing, so everyone will burn a different number of calories. Someone who weighs 150 pounds (10.7 stone or 68kg) will burn around 100 calories per hour, sitting down. But, they can increase this total to 180 calories should they move around on stage, whilst entertaining the audience.
A person who weighs 200 pounds(14.3 stone or 90kg) can burn around 140 calories per hour. Studies have found that the tempo of a song affects our speed and movement. Therefore, if you sing a quicker song, you’re likely to move around more (and faster), so will burn off even more calories during a performance.
How many calories do you burn when you sing?
Consider burning more calories by holding an instrument. Switch from playing the piano to holding a guitar to shed more calories. This movement burns more calories than standing in the same spot quietly humming in your lower register.
According to research, a person can burn as many as 204 calories an hour playing the guitar. And if you really want to ramp up the calorie-burning, add in a dance routine. You can check out the number of calories burned while dancing in this article.
A study found that how much you weigh can affect your singing voice through changes in your phonation threshold pressure (PTP). PTP, in simple terms, is the amount of air pressure needed to create a note when you sing. More pressure is typically required when you haven’t developed or strengthened your vocal folds. Other factors could be external pressure or tension on your vocal folds, as well as inflammation and illness.
Being a healthy weight means that less air pressure is required to sing. This could lead to more vocal stamina, stronger vocal folds, increased vocal agility and better control. However, losing too much weight could mean that you aren’t getting enough nutrients to nourish your muscles. It could also lower your physical stamina, which will affect your ability to sing over long periods of time. So be careful not to under eat.
Can you lose weight by singing?
Equally, there are some that use opera singers in particular as an example of the positive effects of weight gain on your voice. Although this is purely speculation, some argue that the excess fat can increase the resonance around your larynx, which could generate a more pleasing sound. This could explain why some opera singers are big and heavy, but there isn’t enough scientific evidence to make a great case for it.
Now that we’ve answered the number of calories singing burns, you might be wondering if this qualifies singing as exercise? While it’s very good for your body, you still need to pair it with other forms of activity. You need a balance of exercise that includes cardio, strength training and stretching. Singing has more in common with the likes of pilates, in that it strengthens the lungs and works the core muscles. But it won’t do anything for your limbs or build physical stamina (it will form vocal stamina though).
Can singing help you lose weight?
If you want to use singing as part of a weight-loss strategy, it’s not going to get you the type of quick results you would achieve from eating healthily and full cardio exercises.
However, there are some exercises you can do which could help to tone the muscles in your face, leading to a firmer and slimmer looking appearance – and these double as part of your vocal warm-up.
Starting off with regular exercise is your best bet if you want to burn face fat. By that we mean 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, or 75 minutes of very vigorous exercise weekly. Activities such as running and jogging are great fat burners.
Remember with nutrition and diet, the focus should be on your overall health. This is really important as a singer, as it has a big impact on your vocal health and stamina too. So be sure to include plenty of nutritious meals and snacks into your diet, these should be rich in vitamins and minerals.
Does singing burn face fat?
Once the weight starts to drop off your body, you will also see the benefits up top as well as it starts to come off your face. Yoga is said to be a great way to tone the muscles in your face and can tighten up loose skin. You could also try facial exercises like smiling. Smiling will help to tone your facial muscles which are also good for singing.
Here’s how you do it:
- Make the biggest smile you possibly can and hold the smile for half a minute.
- Puff your cheeks out and hold it there for half a minute.
- Tilt your head back and repeat a kissing motion 10 times.
- Repeat the 10 kisses 3 times.
What you might notice about those types of facial exercise is that they are very similar to the activity you might expect to make with a really energetic singing performance. So, it might be that singing can burn face fat. Try it out.
Here are some more facial exercises you can use to tone your face and relax the area ahead of singing.
Maintaining a healthy weight and being physically fit has the potential to make your singing voice better. However, this alone isn’t enough. Practise, training and working on your singing technique is the route to a good voice. So your focus should be on improving your voice through these means and you should only look at losing weight to improve your general physical health, as opposed to becoming a better singer. Aim to be happy and healthy as well as being a good performer.
- Does singing count as exercise?
Singing isn’t as effective as physically active forms of exercise like sports or running. However, it could count as exercise if you do it in a disciplined manner and push yourself. Combining singing with dancing will definitely count as exercise so try and get some routines down to go with your singing.
- Do you burn calories when you talk?
Talking does burn calories but it won’t be as much as singing. You can expect to burn less than half the amount of calories talking as you would if you were singing. Sitting down and walking will also vary the number of calories you burn. However, because it is such a low number anyway, it won’t make much difference.
- Does body size affect your voice?
The size of your body can affect the way it resonates and burning calories may not necessarily change this. For example, burning calories and losing weight won’t change the size of your vocal cords. Taller people are often associated with deeper voices because they have larger vocal folds and can create a deeper resonance. This isn’t really associated with their weight, just their natural size.
Have you found that singing burns calories? Do you use a lot of energy when performing? Let us know in the comments below.