Always warm up before vocalising and warm down with gentle exercises (just as an athlete would post-performance).
Stay hydrated – keeping your vocal folds lubricated reduces voice fatigue. Aim for 6-8 glasses of water per day. Use a humidifier in your home. This is especially important in winter or in dry climates. Thirty percent (30%) humidity is recommended.
Limit your intake of drinks that include alcohol or caffeine. These act as diuretics (substances that increase urination) and cause the body to lose water. This loss of fluids dries out the voice. Alcohol also irritates the mucous membranes that line the throat.
Do not smoke or be around smoke as nicotine can irritate and dry out the vocal folds. Smoking can cause cancer of the larynx and vocal folds.
Manage reflux effectively so that it does not inflame an already irritated larynx. Discuss reflux management with your ENT specialist.
Avoid mouthwash, nose and throat sprays or gargles that contain alcohol or irritating chemicals.
Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet. These foods contain vitamins A, E, and C. They also help keep the mucus membranes healthy that line the throat.
Make sure your speaking voice is supported as well as your singing voice. Speaking from the throat places great stress on the vocal folds, as does coughing, shouting, clearing the throat and whispering. Schedule some quiet time into every day.
Reduce stress and tension in your body. General tension constricts the vocal tract and increases vocal effort. Ensure you get sufficient sleep. Fatigue affects the voice.
Wash your hands often to prevent colds and flu.
Exercise regularly. Exercise increases stamina and muscle tone. This helps provide good posture and breathing, improves immunity and reduces stress.