Health and Fitness For Filmmakers

MattFilmmaking, Lifestyle1 Comment

Today is the first in a series of posts about health & fitness and how it relates to our filmmaking and businesses. Yes, we’re talking big picture stuff here.

Firstly, there are a lot of out of shape people on film sets. It seems that the long hours, intense days and (often) stressful conditions don’t lend themselves to eating well and living a healthy lifestyle.

It’s important for us to live well, treat our bodies right and maintain good health & fitness practices. Even if you just do this as a basis level, you’ll be doing yourself a lot of good and will surely be better off than those gorging themselves on chocolate all day at the craft services table.

HEALTH & WHY IT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT AREA OF YOUR LIFE

We’re all going to die.

Yes, it’s a sobering realization, and something that any self-respecting, successful person shouldn’t focus on all day. However, I start this section off on that somewhat somber note in order to make a point of just how important health is.

Health is, without a doubt, the most important aspect of our lives. In his Hierarchy of Needs, Abraham Maslow positioned the Physiological as the most important need above that of Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem and Self-Actualization.

Physiological, of course, includes “breathing, water, sex, sleep, homeostatis and excretion.” Without the Physiological, without our Health, we have nothing.

Sometimes, self development programs get caught up in (ultimately) lesser needs like Esteem and Self-actualization – we’re sometimes, in our narcissism, more focused on achieving self-esteem and actualization goals because we ignorantly believe that the goal of staying alive will just take care of itself.

This is partly to do with the nature of the world we’re lucky enough to live in today. Gone are the days where we had to fight with the animal in order to trap its meat, only to then be forced to fight other tribes on the way back to camp just to keep that vital meat sustinence.

In the developed world, we live in such safe and secure confines that we take staying alive for granted. I guess it’s hard not to have an attitude like this when there are twenty five supermarkets with 10 mile driving distance of us!

Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but although functions like blinking clearly operate subconciously, we can certainly significantly dent our chances of survival in the long run. We do this by neglecting our health.

Things like ignoring undeniable scientific research on the effects of smoking, drinking and other drugs, witholding life giving vitamins and minerals that our bodies need for optimal function, and letting our muscles atrophy due to bypassing exercise and fitness in exchange for sofas and potato chips.

Yes, you’ve heard it all before, but we really do have a responsibility to ourselves to keep our health in, at the very least, respectable government approved standards.

Now, I’m not really a fan of “government approved” anything, but it’s a good base of lowest common denominator for us to start with. Obviously, I don’t know where you’re starting out with in all this – you may even be in better shape than me. I’ll just work with the government approved route as a ‘one size fits all’ until I know you better.

Clearly, we’d expect the closest thing to peak performance from anyone who really wants to maximize his chances with business and improve his life all round.

The positive effect of physical fitness on the mind, body and spirit can’t be denied. It will not only change your business life; it will simply change your life.

Don’t worry, I’m certainly not preaching against partying and enjoying yourself. Just know that we can’t all be Keith Richards! Very nice bloke, but it’s frankly amazing that that guy’s still alive – I think James Dyson got the idea for his world famous vacuum cleaning system by studying Richard’s nose!

HOW TO TELL HOW HEALTHY YOU ARE

It’s not for me to tell you how healthy you are. That is a little outside my area of expertize, but I can offer a good idea of where you’re at and what your options are for moving forwards.

I can, however, advise you on a few people you can conveniently find in your phonebook:

  • a doctor
  • a physio
  • a personal trainer
  • an alternative health practioner

Go see your doctor. It’s a damn good start.

We’re not living in a time of witch doctors anymore, but unfortunately snake oil salesmen are now more common than ever thanks to the internet. You should find a doctor who’s an Approved Medical Practitioner – whatever that means in your part of the world.

You can find lists of doctors who are legitimate and fall under this banner of assurance issued by your local government, or similar, depending on where in the world you are based.

What this basically means is that you shouldn’t pay any attention to a guy who’s advertising consultations over Twitter and his testimonials include portmanteau names of cartoon characters! You think I’m joking, but unfortunately I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Scary stuff.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

Let’s dive a little deeper:

A doctor should be able to give you a full checkup and, again, this is going to vary depending on your location. Ask to have your bloodwork done, too – in some parts of the world, this will outside of the doctor’s prerogative, but they can most likely advise you on how to go about getting this done.

A physio is worth going to see even if you have no real mobility issues or muscular complaints. It might be prudent just to get a once over from a trusted physio every year to help you detect any underlying mobility, bone or muscular issues.

A good physio is especially useful for posture issues of all kinds; caused by back, neck or foot imbalances, or a combination of all of those. This can be very useful for detecting posture and mobility issues that may be lying dormant and preventing you from presenting yourself to the world in the best way possible. We’ll cover postural issues later on in this series of posts.

Hooking up with a personal trainer is also a wise investment, especially if you’re just starting out on the road to getting your health and fitness in order. As well as being fountains of knowledge (the good ones), if you find the right one, you may just discover that you have a great motivational coach in all areas of your life, not just fitness!

Also, don’t be afraid to invest in a trainer if you’re already confident in the gym. Even the top athletes and bodybuilders employ great trainers. The wiseman never stops learning and we can certainly all do with a little motivational kick up the ass every now and then.

As for alternative health practioners, I appreciate this is pretty open-ended. Basically, this can run the gamut of any type of alternative health practice. Obviously, “alternative” has different meanings depending on the person.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Massage therapist – great for stress relief and de-tensing.
  • Hypnotherapist – brilliant for all kinds of stress and anxiety busting, as well as confidence building of all types. Overall mind and body re-conditioning.
  • Acupuncture – Pain relief and general health and well-being.

Hope you got something out of this post. We’re going to be going deeper into health & fitness and how it can improve you business and life overall in the coming weeks here on Filmmaking Lifestyle.

Drop me a comment below with your thoughts and ideas.

Thanks for reading!

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One Comment on “Health and Fitness For Filmmakers”

  1. Pingback: Fitness For Filmmakers Part II • Filmmaking Lifestyle : Filmmaking Lifestyle

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