'Tuning the Heart' off to a singing start!
By Lucy Hather, Superact's Health & Wellbeing Project Manager
Earlier this week, Superact held it’s first ever ‘Tuning the Heart’ session.
Funded by the British Heart Foundation’s Help a Heart Grant Programme, the choir is aimed at people who have suffered from a cardiac event or who want to help keep their heart healthy and feel the psychological and physiological benefits that singing can bring.
Evidence shows that singing has physical benefits because it is an aerobic activity. It increases oxygenation in the blood stream and exercises major muscle groups in the upper body, even when sitting. There are psychological benefits too because of its positive effect in reducing stress levels through the action of the endocrine system which is linked to our sense of emotional wellbeing.
The first session was designed to be a “taster session”, where people could choose to sign up for the remaining seven week singing course. 27 participants turned up to take part. This included three people who had been referred by the Tone Leisure Phase Three Cardiac Rehabilitation programme. Others had heard about the sessions from articles on "What's On" pages and from seeing flyers that we distributed across local community centres, doctor's surgeries and Musgrove Park Hospital. We had participants mainly from Taunton but some people had travelled from surrounding villages and towns – even from places we hadn’t even promoted within!
As a result of the taster session, 16 people have signed up and booked in to attend the next seven weeks - 8 of which have suffered from a cardiac event. Others who have signed up were spouses or friends of those who have suffered, or have expressed reasons such as they suffer with mental health problems, have a heart murmur, or are joining in order to increase flexibility and prevent deterioration in heart health.
We look forward to a whole lot more singing!