Photographers keep fit! Here are ten ways to keep you tip top throughout the day, and keep those back ache days at bay.
Photographers are forever running around like a headless chicken contrasting with sitting intensely whilst editing a two-day photoshoot. Working long days, carrying heavy equipment and sitting still for long periods can take its toll on your body.
Look after your physical health and be strong in body, and in turn this will look after your mental fitness. I’m not saying you have to be Dwayne Johnson (but he is a happy looking guy right?!) but maybe help yourself avoid years of recovery or permanent aches and pains.
And with this found strength perhaps you will find you can tackle those super duper crazy angles needed to get the right shot for much longer.
Here are my ten best ways to keep strong and healthy, photography style.
This is a work in progress for me, by no means am I at my end product stage but in sharing my fitness journeys and tips I may also help others who are half way through – or even help some poor photographer who wonders why their back is twitching and stiff!
Eeeee, at first they are killer (and I’ll admit it, the first few times you feel like a nob) but after only a few weeks your strength is up and your core feels super strong, and you’ll no longer shudder at the thought of someone seeing you thrust because your technique is coming along just dandy.
And when that happens, up the weight.
Weights are your friends, so I have learned.
Smashing the s?!t out of your pad partner.
It’s a beautiful place to be.
Good for releasing any built up stress left over from a difficult client perhaps.
A personal favourite.
I don’t do enough of this but I do variation classes like ‘body balance’, ‘yoga’. Super for balance, what it says on the box really. Stretching out and feeling your body tuning in to what its up to, is wonderful.
Tuning into your core helps in feeling your strength and reaffirms the hard work your putting in elsewhere.
And that little nap at the end does wonders.
I swim up to 60 lengths (from 30 last Jan 16).
I am currently 2-3 meters away from swimming one full length of the pool whilst holding my breath (whilst doing breaststroke).
I can handstand walk roughly 4 meters without worrying someone may have entered the pool room and is watching me like I am mental, or a mermaid, whichever.
This is a mega achievement for me in one year.
At my swimming pool they have these nifty little cards which you can use as challenges, like swim 42 lengths, 56 lengths and 60 lengths, with and without floats etc. You can imagine. I find assistance like this great, rather than swimming up and down and up and down and up and down.
Another personal favourite.
Well it’s not fitness but it is important. Sweat it out.
Also, a bonus point here…
You get clearer skin and dewy completion. Nice.
Walk everyday for at least 30 mins.
I have a dog so I am forced to. 99/100 days I am thankful for my dog, he is my savour. Air and mind means I keep trucking.
Squats (Instead Of Bending Over)
This is something I adopted in late summer/early September, most likely because my legs are feeling and looking different and I want that to continue.
But squatting to pick something up rather than bending over is a result.
It’s great for glutes (the nice big bit of your leg) and calves (the nice back bit) and strong legs means great support when you have to sit or stand in awkward positions to get ‘the’ shot.
That thing that couples do? Yeah, do more of that.
Alternatively Korea have brought out a ‘riding’ simulator for the home.
This isn’t the most appealing of suggestions but try it with your favourite turned up tune.
Bonus house wife point – a clean house!
Take The Stairs
Enough said. Same as squatting really, I caught myself not taking the stairs the other day and punished myself by going the long way round to my meeting. Thank God no one could read my mind as I did this.
Rather than just hearing healthy snippets from me (clearly having picked them up over time), I asked Andrew Royale from Nuffield Health in Chester – Wellbeing Advisor and Personal Trainer – what his professional advice was. Andy very kindly took me on at the gym for PT sessions and for the last year since joining Nuffield he has helped me make fitness more fun #boxfit #boxing #padsandkicks
“Exercises that work the legs will provide the strength and stamina needed when squatting down and getting into difficult positions when taking photos, these exercises can include Squats, lunges, Squat and holds and Wall sits.
Working the main muscles in the legs (Glutes, Quadriceps and Hamstrings) This will also help when carrying heavy equipment.
Working the core will be vital as being in awkward positions throughout the day can put continued stress on the lower back. Weak Abdominal muscles can result in the lower back over compensating which again can result in back pain.
Strengthening the core will also help build a good posture which can be effected by sitting down for long periods of time.
A good tip is to (if possible) purchase a Swiss ball to sit on instead of a chair when sat at a desk. This will take some of the pressure off the back!
Good abs exercises include: The Plank, V-sits, Leg Raises, Butterfly Kicks, Bicycle Crunches. When looking to strengthen up the back exercises like Deadlifts are a great exercise for lower back, along with Bent over rows, Seated Rows and Lat Pulldowns for an all over back workout.
Keep fitness levels up. Regular exercise is proven to increase energy levels, which can help boost concentration. Long days on set will obviously take a lot out of you so keeping yourself in top shape is a must.
Regular cardio exercise including running, cycling and rowing or even attending gym classes like circuit training is a great way to boost fitness levels.”
You read from the experts folks, a healthy photographer is a successful photographer!