Let me start of with this and state the obvious, I’m far from an expert and have zero expertise on health and fitness. In fact, I’d LOVE to hear your tips to help me out!
Staying healthy in the film business is a hard thing to do, at least for me. When I’m editing, I spend hours sitting at a desk. Sometimes when I’m really in to a project half the day can pass in the blink on an eye and I haven’t moved from one position. That also usually means I haven’t eaten anything either. Heck, sometimes when I’m fine tuning graphics I find myself forgetting to breathe!
When on set, sure, I’m on my feet the whole time, but rarely do I remember to fully hydrate. Eating healthy is usually the farthest thing from my mind, especially when AD’ing. In the midst of the chaos and stress that goes along with running a film set, when I do get the chance to eat I eat as if I don’t know if I’m ever going to eat again.
To begin with, I’m a big guy, so it’s not like I was in tip-top condition to begin with, so I have to do much more than maintenance. I need to take some steps to loose weight, get in shape, and still find a way to keep my sanity and my production!
So here are 5 steps I have taken to begin the journey of getting healthy while still working in the film industry:
- Decrease Time Sitting By Using A Standing Desk – my first big purchase when moving to my new apartment was a standing desk. I found a great deal at MultiTable.com on this desk. It’s a ModTable with Silver Base and Large Black Top. (Please don’t mind the messy wires)
I saved some money on this over other brands because it uses a hand crank instead of a motor, but I really liked how you can adjust it so when I am tired I can crank the desk down to sit down.
Tip 1a: Speaking of getting tired, I also got this mat to stand on. It has gel inside and is awesome, so I don’t have to stand on the hardwood floor while working!
- Stay Active – I’m trying to go on as many walks as I can. Whenever I have a little render or need a mental break, I go on a quick walk around the block. This really adds up fast.
- Get Better Snacks – When I’m working hard and forget to eat, I’m just starving and reach for the closest thing that’s to me that’ll make my stomach stop growling. So I’m making a stronger effort to just have better snacks in the place like natural peanut butter, fruits, almonds, veggies, that sort of stuff. On days where I’m on set, I try to have a large meal, something like oatmeal and/or eggs that’ll fill me up and keep me going while preventing a crazy binge on bad stuff later.
- Work Out – Now this is one that I always avoided and said I don’t have the time to go to a gym because I’m too busy working. But recently I joined a gym called Orange Theory Fitness, and instead of a typical gym where you work out whenever you want, this is more of a studio and you take 1 hour long classes. The classes consist of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and includes treadmill work, rowing machine, and floor: which can consist of free weights, straps, body weight exercises, and anything they can think of. I also fill in the extra days with a kettlebell routine.
After doing this intently for just a week, it’s pretty amazing how much more energy I have all day, and how quicker I fall asleep at night. Speaking of…..
- Get More Sleep – Again, this one is difficult in the world of film because of the constant tight deadlines and strange hours of production. But when you’re tired, you don’t put out your best work. I know, much easier said than done because I’ve had my history with insomnia, both creative insomnia and not, but I’m doing my best to stay fresh and always put out my best work. So sometimes I have to say no to social events or save watching TV shows until a different time while avoiding spoilers on social media (…ahem, Game of Thrones…. dang it).
I have a long way to go, but these are just a few simple steps I’ve done that’ll hopefully add up to something much larger later. I’m not too much into fad diets, so I figured the best way are lots of little things that are sustainable over a long period of time. If you’re interested, I’ll keep you up to date on how everything is going!
What steps do you all do to stay healthy when working in the industry or at a 9-5?