If you're a , you're a voice athlete.

Taking good care of our voices is just sensible.

How do we do that?

First, understand there are two pipes in your throat: The esophagus leads to your stomach and your trachea leads past your cords to your lungs.

Anything you swallow—hot tea for example—may soothe your throat and hydrate your body but it will bypass your cords.

Smoking, however, will not. Don't smoke. It's bad for your voice and bad for everyone around you, too.

Don't strain your voice. If you're starting to sound raspy or hoarse, give it a break. When you have to communicate, whisper.

and singers warm up their voices and engage in regular workouts. Though it makes no sense, speakers rarely do this.

FInd a voice coach. Your local university theater department can recommend one.

Look up “vocal warm-ups” and “voice exercises for ” on YouTube. You'll be amazed to discover how other voice professionals care for and strengthen their instruments.

If you're a , you're a voice athlete.

If you're an athlete, stay in shape!