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.
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?! I highly suggest you read his blog post on Transforming “Your Life and Body”
- 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:
- Monitor alcohol consumption. I have to do this in general, but on the road, it’s damn important.
- Stretch out before and after work. Maybe sometime in between.
- Take small breaks.
- Use monopods or tripods when possible. It’s not negative to use the tools in your bag to alleviate the stress.