It’s far more entertaining to hear about how much heroin Keith Richards did on The Rolling Stones 1975 ‘Tour of the Americas’, and the superhuman power of Merck cocaine. Yet, today it’s just as important, and far harder, for artists to stay healthy on the road.
The constant rigours of travel, late nights, and improvised eating can leave you completely exhausted by the end of a tour. Thus we have compiled 10 amazing tips from musicians to help you stay healthy on the road.
10 simple ways to make sure your body doesn’t feel like shit on the road. Being healthy and happy on tour is an art form that few musicians ever master.
10. Noise Cancelling Headphones
It’s no secret sleeping can be extremely tough on tour. In fact, sleep deprivation is almost a pre-requisite. Learning how to function on very little sleep is just as important as learning how to get enough sleep.
“I also combatted sleep issues by buying noise-cancelling headphones,” said Anthony Raines (DJ Marauder). One thing that will massively help is lashing out on a quality pair of noise cancelling headphones, they knock you on a plane better than valium.
9. Quick Litre!
While it is recommended two drink at least 2 litres of water a day you can very quickly become exceedingly dehydrated on tour. A great habit to get into is frequently (and quickly) gulping down a Litre of water.
First of all, get yourself a quality water bottle. This is your best friend on the road. Whenever you feel yourself getting thirsty, take a big hit and your body will thank you later.
8. Ease Off The Booze
It will come as no surprise that alcohol is by and large the biggest undoer of bands on the road. Musicians are frequently exposed to the temptations of life. More often than not you will find yourself at gigs were everyone is drinking and you have free booze.
Having a designated driver will always make sure someone is fresh the next morning (and safe to drive). More importantly however, try and promote a healthy, non-abusive attitude towards drinking amongst band members. This will not only be a massive benefit to your collective mental health, but also for your music overall.
7. Fresh Fruit Smoothies
“Drinking fresh fruit smoothies and taking Airborne [multi-vitamin] helped a lot as the tour progressed,” says DJ Marauder.
There are many forum’s online debating the efficacy of multi-vitamins but I have no doubt that if you take one a day while on the road it will do you a world of good. Especially if you’re vegetarian/vegan, or dieting, it will ensure all your bases are covered.
Fruit smoothies are another super yummy natural boost. It’ll give your body a natural high that will promote better eating and so on and so forth.
Bringing an esky or cool on tour when driving in a car is essential. It may seem jovial at first but it will promote the likeliness of having healthy snacks on tour as well as in the green room!
Having a cooler on tour will mean you will save money on meals that you don’t finish. Also if you have any leftover drinks from rider you can throw them in the chilly bin. Win!
5. Healthy Outlook
Listen to your body and heed what it is saying. Don’t push through the low moments or exhaustion by continuing to drink or staying up late. Being in tune with your body and its needs is one of the most difficult skills to learn as a young person but easily the most effective in terms of longevity and prolonged happiness.
“Kamasi [Washington] dad Rickey works out a lot,” Oscar Jerome told Happy. “He’s still touring and he’s in his sixties. He works out for an hour after every show and he was saying ‘You need to make sure you warm up on your instrument and look after your body.’ I can see how it’s worked with him and that really impacted me. He’s sounding great and a really positive guy.”
Doing push ups wherever you can is an extremely easy way to stay on top of the touring. Even going for a walk before or after a show can help clear your head and legs in the best of ways.
“As far as cardio, I love to dance,” said US rapper Kiyoshi Shelton. “I need to dance. You can definitely find me dancing everywhere, even backstage. That is my personal way of supporting an artist who may be performing before or after me.”
Dancing is an all round great from of cardio and an exceptionally good pre-show ritual.
2. Golden Vocals
If you’re a singer it’s even more important to take care of your vocal chords and eat well. Tim Buckley famously never smoked or drunk a drop until after his tour was done. While this is an extreme case of self-restraint; a good rule can be to restrict bad things for your voice the day of a show. Eg. Smoking, Alcohol, Caffeine, Coughing, Chocolate, Fried Foods, and Dairy.
This is the ultimate goal of any touring guru. If you can meditate the morning before a show you’re automatically destined for a day of unbridled creativity and success.
“I study transcendental meditation,” London jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall told Happy. “I still do Buddhist meditation and I think that has an impact on the music that I make.”
If you havn’t quite made to Yoga level of zen yet, just stretching every now and then will make a world of difference out on the beaten track.