No matter what your genre or your role – touring is tough. Long hours, cramped quarters and a lot of potential stress. Here are some simple tips to survive, and to keep your body from giving out on you.
Drive in Short Shifts, on a Schedule
Long before you hit the road set a schedule of two or three-hour long driving shifts. We all know the dangers of getting tired behind the wheel, but setting clear expectations and switching drivers more frequently is good for the physical and mental health of everyone on the tour. Those quick breaks between shifts will give everyone chance to release built up tension and stretch their legs, and keep all your drivers focused. If you have enough people, schedule a co-pilot as well (especially if you are driving through the night). It’s the co-pilots job to navigate and make sure the driver is alert.
Get off the Bus, Out of the Hotel
It’s hard enough to get to the gym when it’s ten minutes from your home. When you are on the road, try taking a long walk when you can. If you’re staying in hotels, make time to use the pool. Folding bikes and yoga mats can also be good space-saving ways to allow for easy exercise while on tour. Even if you only exercise once every two or three days it can greatly reduce the stress and strain on your body, and ease the effects of that post-tour crash.
Eat Light, Eat Often
Touring usually means no access to a kitchen or refrigerator, but keeping healthy snacks handy can keep you from settling for whatever junk food is most available. If you have a rider, request fresh fruits and healthy snacks, not sugary treats, as you are most likely to eat whatever is at hand. Get a small cooler and stock fresh or dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, vegetables and hummus. For a better sleep and rested body, don’t skip breakfast, make sure you are eating throughout the day, and try to avoid eating after a late-night gig when you are worn down. If you remember nothing else, remember to always take the grilled, over the fried.
Unison is here for you. Any place. Any time. With Unison’s Assistance Program, Canadian music industry professionals can access immediate, confidential help for any health and wellness concern, 24-7, by phone or online. Call today and be directed to the applicable, skilled professional who can help you come up with a plan for smoking cessations, nutrition and meal planning, physical fitness or mental health. 1-855-9UNISON (1-855-986-4766)