In a holistic view of wellbeing, physical health plays an important role. Research shows that physical activity contributes to mental wellbeing and long-term health, flooding our bodies with endorphins and improving alertness, energy and mood. When it comes to our bodies, a varied programme of different types of physical activity can help counteract muscle tightness and poor desk posture, help us breathe easier and improve our heart health.
The music industry can be demanding and rewarding in equal measure. In such a pressurised environment, it’s vitally important to look after your body and mind to prevent burnout, injury or illness. Below, Lucy Putman of Wasserman Music and Nordoff Robbins’ Fraser Moyle give their top tips for maintaining physical health in the music business.
Remember your ‘why’
Working in the music industry can be incredibly high pressure and stressful. Long working hours combined with having to attend shows and events in the evening and at weekends means it can be all too easy to burn yourself out.
It’s really important to take the time to look after yourself – to step away from your screen and get some fresh air! Studies show that fresh air and physical activity have been proven to lower anxiety and stress levels, whilst exercising regularly can help your concentration and improve your sleep, as well as making you feel good about yourself. It can also be a great a way of doing something with your colleagues that's completely unrelated to work – even if it’s just a walk around the block on your lunch break.
Mix up your commute
Change your commute – can you walk, cycle, or run to work? I find that being active by cycling on my journeys between music therapy placements and piano lessons allows for a low impact exercise that not only gets me from A to B, but is healthy, ‘green’ and great for keeping my mind and body alert.
Add a yoga, Pilates or stretching class once a week to prevent injury and help your limbs stay flexible and mobile. Excellent for working on your posture when performing and for maintaining strong hands, fingers and wrists for tackling those tricky obstacle races and dexterous jazzy solo riffs.
Don’t get hung up on stereotypes
You don’t need to be a big gym shark and start lifting huge weights to do strength training. Try starting by adding some small 1 or 2kg weights to any body weight exercises to enhance your chances of staying fit.
Look beyond the gym
Get into the outdoors and try open water swimming, cross country running or even a hike over some hills or mountains. Take a bag, a friend and explore a new area to give your fitness goals a new or different perspective. Be sure to stock up on your nutrition, anything from carb gels to protein bars work a treat.
Remember physical wellbeing isn’t just about working out
We all know mental and physical health are connected. Try starting the day with a 10 to 20 minute meditation or breath work exercise to prepare your lungs for the oxygen you’ll need to supply the muscles you’ll be using during a workout. This is also great for just before going on stage to focus and reset for the big show.