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5 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Musicians

It’s extremely likely that everyone reading this, in some point, has tried to initiate some form of healthy cycle in their lifestyle. This cycle may continue for a while, until we prove to ourselves that “we can do it” and unconsciously end the cycle. The real challenge is to persevere for about 3 months, until our mind becomes accustomed to this new pattern and we start performing it on an unconscious level.

I would like to pose a challenge to continue each of the cycles listed below for at least 3 months every day. This means we will be adapting the lifestyle elements of some well known entertainers, and we will have the opportunity to see how we will benefit from them.

1. Exercise

An exercise routine isn’t always easy to incorporate into our lifestyle, however the benefits are immense. If you can push through that first month it will become easy. Exercise has many positive effects, such as:

  • Fights diseases and health conditions;
  • Improves our mood and promotes better sleep;
  • Boosts energy levels;
  • Manages anxiety.

Here are a few suggestions for active habits you can introduce into your daily routine:

  • Running;
  • Cycling;
  • Swimming;
  • Dance classes.

You can even go as for as to seek out a professional fitness coach if you want to get the most out of exercising.

2. Practice

It’s possible to achieve just about any skill by practicing. If you practice, you get better. If you don’t practice, nothing happens. You can’t expect reasonable results from something you don’t work hard at. The nature of the performing industry requires a great deal of practice in order to develop a valuable product. One thing I have undertaken is to develop my singing voice. I don’t sing naturally, and playing the guitar is honestly a lot easier. However, by applying myself and practicing daily I am now seeing results that are very rewarding.

Learning is a lot of fun, something people that don’t undertake miss out on completely. There’s a certain joy in discovering new things, and with any instrument there is a whole world of new discoveries that awaits you. Practice also has health benefits. You may have come across this video which illustrates how playing an instrument benefits the brain.

The easiest way to practice for many people would be to get a teacher. This reason this is effective is because you are forced to learn the material the teacher has assigned before the next lesson is due.

Although practicing is extremely beneficial, we should also be conscious about not overdoing it. For example, an important performance may motivate a musician to practice for extended periods of time in comparison to how much they would regularly practice. This has many times proved detrimental as the artist ends up stressing their muscles to the point where they can’t perform. Practice is most effective in short intervals. If any form of physical discomfort arises, we should take some time off from practicing.

There is a theory that 10 000 hours of practice will guarantee you an overnight success in any field. See this as a tangible goal, however don’t feel overwhelmed by it. Learning is most fun when we don’t focus on the full scope of everything that we don’t know.

3. Diet

Eating healthily is a lifestyle change, which sounds a lot more strenuous than it has to be. We should recognize the benefits that healthy food will have on our overall quality of life, and strive to be consciously aware of what we’re putting into our bodies. Adapting a healthy diet is different for everyone. We all have preferences, and foods we are accustomed to eating. The main thing to remember is that, essentially, we are what we eat.

  • Eat unprocessed foods as close to their natural state as possible (fruits, vegetables, nuts etc);
  • Prepare your own food instead of purchasing ready made or fast food;
  • Drink plenty of water.

4. Sleep

Sleep is a requirement for functioning efficiently and productively. The right amount of sleep will maximize your health, physical appearance and happiness. Studies have shown that sleeping straight after practicing an instrument helps to retain what you learned faster. Sleep also helps to:

  • Increase concentration which helps for learning and focusing;
  • Boost your immune system preventing illness;
  • Maximize your emotion well-being.

Sleeping for musicians, especially when touring, can be difficult at times. On the road we can only sleep “as much as possible”, however we should try and adapt a routine whenever we get the oppertunity. A healthy amount of sleep equates to about 8 hours per night. You should aim to go to bed and wake up at exactly the same time each day.

5. Mental Health

Studies have shown that musicians are more likely to suffer from mental health disorders. Applying all the above points outlined so far will have an extremely positive effect on your overall mental health.

  • Setting goals has been proven to have a dramatic effect on our mental state;
  • Try to participate in recreational activities like meditation, reading and taking a walk in nature.
Dean Hailstone

Dean Hailstone

Dean is a professional guitar player, recording artist and touring musician. He has over 20 years of playing experience, and has performed hundreds of live gigs during his career. Read more...

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