Tag Archives: fitness

Photographers – Take Better Care Of Yourselves – Part 1 Travel Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of us photographer and filmmakers taking better care of our bodies and our minds as well as my personal journey. We push ourselves entirely too hard, especially those of us that travel for shoots. Therefore, I’ve started asking friends that are REAL fitness experts, unlike myself, to share tips about how we can easily take better care of ourselves.

Believe me, I will be doing many more health posts like this geared towards photographers and filmmakers that work on our feet for long hours with simple tips on how we live longer with healthier necks and backs, heavy gear be damned.

Say hello to Adam Foote

My buddy Adam Foote (check out his inspiring fitness blog) took the time to share 4 tips on how we can take better care of ourselves when we travel. I add my 2 cents as well in the bracketed portions :

1. Take 20 minutes to plan ahead. Once you know where you are staying, search for the local Whole Foods or grocery store and hit it up as soon as you land. Stock up on water, your favorite health bars, and some unsalted almonds or cashews. Having your food ready not only saves you time but also saves you from making poor choices when on the road. [It doesn't hurt to pack some healthy snacks before you start your trip to avoid the stuff that is so bad for you on the road - DS]

2. There is nothing wrong with grabbing lunch at a Wendy’s or Chik-Fil-A every now and then. Simply order a grilled chicken sandwich or two and hold the fries and diet soda, you DO NOT need those useless added calories. [Avoiding fried foods in general is a good rule to follow. It's bad for your heart and drags you down during a long day - DS]

3. Stay hydrated while traveling or on set. It is so easy to forget to drink water throughout our busy days but it is ESSENTIAL for optimal health. As a guideline, try to consume a minimum of HALF of your body weight in ounces of water during the day. For example, I weight 200lbs so I try to get 100oz in from the time I wake up to when I get to bed, that is simply 5 20oz bottles throughout the day. [I used to love soda with caffeine, but I replaced that with just water and you'd be surprised how your stamina lasts longer on water than it does trying to fill yourself with sugary sodas and fruit juices. Soda is so bad for you and water is truly essential to keep yourself going. I always carry a refillable water bottle or canteen with me everywhere I go, even on the airplane - DS]

4. And last but most definitely not least, make time for some exercise. It does not matter how busy you “think” you are. Everyone has time for a 10-20 minute hotel room workout, simply make it a priority. It is a great way to help raise natural energy levels in the morning as well as help to “blow off” some steam and get your mind right after a long day. [Don't have a gym nearby? You can always go for a jog. I always bring runnings shoes just in case. Can't run that for whatever reason, here is an app or two that have some cool workout suggestions you can do right in your hotel room in just a few minutes!]

Need more inspiration?! highly suggest you read his blog post on Transforming “Your Life and Body”

Remember (as I mentioned in my previous blog post on fitness):

  • It’s not a diet, it is about a healthy lifestyle. If you are on a crash diet to try and lose weight to hit a certain goal, you may make that goal but it will most likely not stay there long. Starving yourself is bad for you (portion control is an entirely different story) in most situations. Feeding your body with the right healthy food can actually do wonders.
  • Do at least one thing a day that points you in the right direction of a healthy lifestyle, as little as it may be. As long as you are being proactive, you are in a better place than you were yesterday.
  • Strong body equals strong mind. It also works the other way around. Taking care of yourself can improve your productivity and creativity.

I’ve received fantastic response about photographers wanting to learn and be more dedicated to bettering their health since my first fitness post. I love. Please continue to comment with your input, tips, suggestions, or what you would like to see me blog about more. Thanks again to Adam for his input!

Here are other suggestions that have come in:

Jeremy Witteveen

  1. Monitor alcohol consumption. I have to do this in general, but on the road, it’s damn important.
  2. Stretch out before and after work. Maybe sometime in between.
  3. Take small breaks.
  4. Use monopods or tripods when possible. It’s not negative to use the tools in your bag to alleviate the stress.

Fitness For Your Photography And Your Life – A Call Out To The Community

Getting ready to go on a run, one of our favorite end of day activities.

About 6 months ago, I hit a wall. I’ll be honest, work was overwhelming and my personal life was a mess. Running two companies (the photography and my production company 8112 Studios) takes a toll on your mind and body, not to mention flying about 100k miles a year on assignments. In a sense, I was feeling like a zombie. I made a promise to myself when I turned 30 last year that I would take better care of myself, especially due to the poor health history in my family and the arduous health-draining lifestyle of photography and production. Although, at that point 6 months or so, I hadn’t done anything to really change my life except an occasional jog and eat less junk food. I’ll be honest, I was also doing a lot of moping from a hard breakup at that point and feeling plenty sorry for myself and having trouble focusing on all of my projects (hey, I’m only human). Then one day, I just woke up and decided I didn’t want to mope anymore… that I needed to make some changes in my life, and that’s when this all began…

I started to do research on diet and exercise. Reading books like the 4 Hour Body (see the video below), which my mom the amazing nurse suggested, and various online articles. I started to exercise and jog slowly. Some weight training here and some cardio there. I would learn different exercise routines from diagrams online and try them out and see what worked. I used what I had learned about circuit training from trying out crossfit last year, which I stopped after I broke my ribs doing crossfit in China last summer. I began to create a diet that worked for me and my lifestyle (less carbs, less sugar, less sodium, no soda/more water, less/no processed food, cut most but not all alcohol out of my life, ate more veggies, ate some more fruit but didn’t overdo it due to their natural sugar, cut out fruit juices, ate more protein, avoided excess red meat, etc etc) and an exercise regiment that worked in my tight schedule. I started to pack running shoes in my luggage, and was gradually increasing the intensity of my workouts. Every day I would just tell myself that as long as I was headed in the right direction/a positive direction, that this is all that mattered.

6 months later, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, including my time as a firefighter in my early 20′s, faster than ever, my natural energy is much higher, and I even have visible stomach muscles (never thought that would be possible). My back no longer aches like it did at the end of a long day with a camera around my neck or lifting heavy cases, and I can pull long hours and keep motivated. It’s changed my drive and my ability to focus. Cutting all of that junk out of my system and treating my body better has truly changed my life and improved my life outlook.


YouTube Direkt

Now, let me step back here. This is not meant to be a brag post, I promise, this is about you taking care of you. I just had a good photographer friend suffer a stroke. He is surviving by his sheer will to fight and survive. Amazing guy and it happened to him way too young. I see way too many shooters, myself included, that push our minds and bodies way too hard and it takes its toll. You do not have to be crazy like me and change your entire diet and fitness lifestyle. You do not have to run marathons or lift heavy weights. I just want you to promise me something: that each day you will proactively do something to be conscious of your health. Avoid that extra donut, take the dog for an extra jog or walk, drink less or cut out soda (including diet soda which is just as bad because your body does not know how to process most fake sweeteners and just convert them to fat anyway), just do something! Our lifestyles are SO HARD and the only way to keep ourselves going is to take a little better care of ourselves. Do not abuse your bodies any more than they need to be (unless you’re into that sort of thing).

I would LOVE to hear your input on this subject. Please comment with your stories. If you want to know more about my personal exercise routines, diet, or how to be healthier on the road, I’d be happy to share if that interests you guys at all.

Remember:

  • It’s not a diet, it is about a healthy lifestyle. If you are on a crash diet to try and lose weight to hit a certain goal, you may make that goal but it will most likely not stay there long. Starving yourself is bad for you (portion control is an entirely different story) in most situations. Feeding your body with the right healthy food can actually do wonders.
  • Do at least one thing a day that points you in the right direction of a healthy lifestyle, as little as it may be. As long as you are being proactive, you are in a better place than you were yesterday.
  • Strong body equals strong mind. It also works the other way around. Taking care of yourself can improve your productivity and creativity.