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Exercise, Nutrition and Musicians

(By Richard Morales)
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In many cases it as been observed that it is a musician’s lack of planning that leads to unhealthy practices. Though it is difficult to follow healthy routines with varying work schedules and locations, still adhering strictly to plans and commitment can give you positive results.

Musicians usually have erratic work schedules and as such they often have to compromise on their sleeping patterns. It cannot be helped as musicians who travel have to endure varying work schedules, switching time zones and sleeping in different beds. All this leads to sleep deprivation or poor-quality sleep. Moreover sleep deprivation along with fatigue leads to muscle pain symptoms. These pain symptoms may aggravate further till the body gets in a regular sleep pattern.

Performing musicians have to take up different types of accommodations while on tour. They are compelled to sleep in a variety of beds, use different pillows etc. Sometimes while traveling they have to spend the entire night in vehicles or on airplanes. In some cases they even have to sleep on couches, cots, inflatable mattresses, child-sized beds, and floors. This indeed can have a detrimental effect on their health.

Minor ailments like a cold or the flu can play spoilsport to a musician’s tour. By taking nutrition supplements cold and flu can be prevented from occurring in the first place because it is difficult to get cured quickly once you have it. It is also advisable to keep away from people who have a cold and if by any chance you did come in contact with somebody suffering from cold make sure to wash your hands properly. By drinking plenty of fresh water, cutting down on alcohol consumption and quitting smoking you will surely increase your body’s natural immunity to minor ailments.

Consumption of alcohol leads to the destruction of the liver and a weak liver result in germs staying in your body for a longer duration. On the other hand smoking hampers the proper functioning of the immune system and this is the reason why many musicians who smoke get a lot of colds. It is therefore imperative that a musician or a singer follow a good prevention method. As many musicians drink alcohol and are often in a smoky environment they should take nutrition supplements.

There are certain ailments that affect musicians from time to time and one of these is lower back pain.  The reason why musicians suffer from pain in their lower back muscles is due to their travel and lifestyle habits.

Excess weight around the waist area will put a strain on your lower back. However by just reducing fat just around the waistline would not help unless a musician focuses on an improved lifestyle that comprises healthier eating and overall weight loss. Once the waist deflates the rest of your body follows suit. You start to feel better.

A musician who travels a lot would find it very difficult to exercise. On the other hand lower back muscles need regular cardio exercises for proper circulation of oxygen and blood. They also need strength-training exercises for firmness and strength along with stretching for agility and health.

Musicians who are always traveling have to carry transporting equipment and these can be quite heavy. Moving such equipments/instruments can be bad for the lower backs.

Most often musicians tend to lift such equipments from awkward positions which results in strains. Care should be taken in such activities.

Most musicians are inactive physically which leads to muscle weakness. When they spend a lot of time on the road which means they have a lot of down-time they actually weaken their lower backs and due to prolonged sitting they also become out of balance.

Thus inactivity leads to excess weight and the possibility of developing habits like smoking when musicians have too much down-time. Replace this inactivity by committing to a daily stretching program.  Stretching exercises will be an enormous help.

For a musician only exercise is not enough. Poor nutrition can lead to a lot of physical deficiencies. Back muscles need nutritious food to remain healthy. These muscles particularly need minerals. Musicians who mostly travel or eat out a lot take junky snacks. Thus they deprive themselves from nutritious foods like vegetables and other mineral-rich foods.

A plant based or vegetarian diet is not only healthier, helps the environment and is more humane but also provides a healthy lifestyle. There are many Hollywood celebrities, sports heroes/successful athletes/great performers or musicians and even geniuses who have embraced the vegetarian lifestyle and have set examples a healthy lifestyle through vegetarianism.

Many times a bad lifestyle habit like smoking takes a toll on a musician’s health. Smoking actually deprives the muscles of oxygen and reduces its circulation within the body thereby killing our healthy tissues. It is always better to kick this habit for good if a musician wishes to lead a long, healthy and successful life.

There can also be other co-factors which play havoc with the health of a musician
. Sometimes it is the musician’s habits that make him/her vulnerable to health issues.

Though lifestyle and travel habits can affect a musician’s health and though many of these may be inevitable, a performing musician can combat them by following a pro-active plan for health. You will definitely get positive results.

HotHouse Rehearsal Studios

Updated: May 23, 2009

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Presenter: Richard Morales

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