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HIGH NOTES: Doctor attributes healthy living to vocal practice

January 14, 2013

Dr. David Haines, of Warsaw, sings a solo in a performance of the Chain O’ Lakes Chorus at the Taste and Trade Expo. Photo contributed

COLUMBIA CITY — Having a healthy lifestyle is nothing to laugh at. But it may very well be something to sing about.

Dr. David Haines, of Warsaw, has been singing with the Chain O’ Lakes Chorus for six years and sees many healthy advantages to singing.

“You get a high from singing just like runners get from running,” said Haines. “There are endorphins released when you sing, just like when playing sports.”

The barbershop chorus is comprised of men from Whitley and Kosciusko County with a range of talents and abilities. The main thread that connects them all — they enjoy singing in a barbershop genre.

Barbershop music is built around four-part vocal harmonies. There are a number of different kinds of barbershop styles, but the true genre has its roots planted in songs such as “Good Night Ladies,” “Sweet Adeline,” and “Hello My Baby.”

“This is not just a hobby, it’s a way of life,” Haines said while wearing a T-shirt that read, “Warning: Barbershop singing is addictive.”

As a physician, Haines recognizes the health bonuses that come from singing.

Studies show singing is a way to exercise the lungs, since sustained breathing requires breathing deeper than normal and from the diaphram.

“When you breathe like this regularly, you reduce the possibility of respiratory infections,” said Haines. “It’s a workout for the lungs. It makes them stronger and keeps them clear.”

Singing also tones abdominal muscles and stimulates circulation. When standing to sing, it engages back muscles and promotes good posture and poise.

“Singing is an ageless activity,” Haines said. “At 70 years old, I might not be able to play sports like when I was younger, but I can still sing.”

To learn more about the Chain O’ Lakes Chorus, visit www.chainolakeschorus.com.

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