06 Oct Physical Fitness
Physical Fitness Guidelines
Many musicians would not consider their work athletic, but musicians are actually known as the athletes of the small muscles. With the exception of some lead vocalists and instrumentalists, most musicians are not running and jumping about the stage, but the oxygen demands of your muscles when playing still require a robust delivery system for optimal functioning. This is the job of your cardiovascular system. Studies have shown that in performance (when adrenaline levels are high) musicians’ heart rates can spike anywhere up to 85% of the total maximum heart rate, which is considered to be high intensity work in sports medicine guidelines. In order to protect your heart health when working at these intensities, you need to be fit for the job!
Reducing Injury Risk
If oxygen delivery to muscles is not optimal it places them at greater risk of injury and increases muscle soreness. Additionally, low cardiovascular fitness leads to early fatigue which is also a risk for muscle injury. So addressing physical fitness will also lead to happier muscles!
Benefits for Mental Health
Physical fitness is strongly linked to emotional health. Research has shown that regular exercise can reduce and prevent the experience of anxiety and depression. Exercise helps to balance the nervous system, releases ‘feel good’ hormones known as endorphins, distracts us from negative self-talk, and improves blood circulation to the brain. Exercise can be used as both prevention and treatment for emotional issues.