Staying Healthy On-Set

Now is the season in which we find ourselves back to the long days and hard nights.  The hardest thing for those that work on set is to stay healthy.  Unlike other jobs we don’t get paid sick days.  Every day we take off is another couple hundred dollars not in our pockets. 

There are many factors that contribute to a decline of our health on set.  And, research is stacking up against our chosen field.  So let’s figure out how to manage ourselves as best as possible.  In this post we will focus on the small changes we can make in what we eat on set.  By creating positive changes, we can have more energy on set, handle the lack of sleep, and most importantly keep ourselves working longer (as in career wise not longer days).

If you look around, many of us on set Let’s face it, we get fed pretty good on set.  But the type of food we shove into our faces affects our overall health.  There are many things that influence our ability to sleep.   A recent study has come out to show that what we eat can effect sleep.  Food with higher fiber, less sugar and less saturated fat will allow us to have better sleep.  Now there are many sources on the internet, and any credible ones’ point to how devastating the way we eat can effect our health.

Let’s start with the basics.  When you get to work in the morning and you get into the breakfast line, choose what you want to eat.  There are healthy choices out there.  Don’t go for the double bacon, cheese and mayo sandwich.  Everyone see that article from the World Health Organization on processed meet causing cancer?

Here is where choices start to happen.  Oatmeal with raisins, Honey or Syrup instead of processed sugar until you can get off of those as well.  Enjoy the fruit bowl.  And start to avoid the sugar in coffee and those juice boxes.  For lunch, load up on Veggies and salads that are healthy.  Enjoy meat, but decrease the portion size you take.

Next is Crafty.  That wonderful place we all love.  The best Crafty’s have veggies and fruits.  Apples and Cinnamon…. Mmm.  But here is what you need to remember. All those crew members that don’t wash their hands and have their fingers all over the food.  Use the tongs, and utensils provided by crafty.  Eat the fruits and veggies with peels like oranges and Banana’s.  Be careful what you eat will increase your chances of staying healthy.   

The biggest thing to avoid is the soda pop and juices that contain all those sugars.  Not only does this weaken your body and provide it with a lack of nutrients, it can have devastating consequences for your whole body.   One of the simplest things - and yet it needs to be a conscious choice – is to cut out pop from your diet.  Replace with water.  On those cold nights drink hot water and lemon (add some honey if needed) as a better choice than pop or even coffee for staying awake.  

Those energy drinks you pound down, morning noon and night.  They are horrible for your heart.  They keep you awake by increasing your heart rate and blood flow.  Water does the same thing, but is natural, and uses your own stored energy i.e. fat reserves, to keep your body energized.  Watch for the difference this makes in your fitness after just a couple of short weeks.

Crafty also has hand sanitizer, and vitamins.  Use them.  However, add some immune boosters to your Kitchen.  Garlic pills, probiotics and Vitamin D can help, these are found in every grocery store.  If you do get sick most Crafty's have cold and flue meds, Tylenol or Advil.  First thing in the morning go up to them and ask to have some. 

These are just some of the food choices that you can make to increase your chances of fighting off the common cold, or the flu while you work on set.   If you are sick, hopefully you have EI and can take some days off.  If not then you are potentially going to get others sick.  Tell your ALM and request a generator lock up for the day.  Something that keeps you from the crew.  Sneeze into your elbow.. etc. 

When you see bad viruses take out entire crews and yet you are some how able to keep working, some of these small changes will be entirely noticed.  This isn't to say you wont get sick, but when you do, how quickly you recover could be up to what you are eating, and how healthy your immune system is. 

Other areas that contribute to your overall health will be discussed later are sleep/rest, exercise, how you dress and managing stress. 

For now, lets start with the easy fixes on set. 



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