As a saxophonist, I am a highly creative individual. I write my own saxophone etudes; I write my own saxophone songs, and when I improvise, I write my own saxophone melodies on-the-fly. Creativity is a VERY big and important part of my life. To learn to be more creative, I am always experimenting with developing my own way of doing things.
God gave each of us only one body, and that body, no matter how hard we work on physical fitness, will only last one lifetime. I would argue that physical fitness is the second most important thing that a saxophonist must pay attention to if he or she wants to enjoy a long and prosperous career. I am a big proponent of writing my own saxophone etudes because studying how I write phrases reinforces how my mind works. The same concept applies to physical fitness: I will benefit the most from employing physical fitness routines that I developed. I have developed a personal concept of physical fitness that I call Perpetual Exercise.
Perpetual Exercise means that you constantly work out during the day instead of just dedicating 1 hour or 30 minutes to working out per day. I am not going to tell you what exercises I developed: I want you to be creative and develop your own. But what I will share with you is the philosophy behind my perpetual exercises:
- Philosophical Principle 1: Each perpetual exercise should be very easy to perform. Since you will be taking breaks to do them throughout the day, they should be something that your body does not easily get burned out on.
- Philosophical Principle 2: Each perpetual exercise should be fun. If they are not fun, you will quickly tire of doing them, and you will quit.
- Philosophical Principle 3: You have to be focused and committed. Perpetual exercises won't work for you if you are easily distracted, or if you lack the ability to commit. It takes a lot of discipline to commit to doing exercises throughout the day, so if you have a hard time focusing, you have to just sit down and do the hard work of learning how to be focused.
Now that we know the principles behind perpetual exercises, let's get to work. Go to a quiet room without distractions. Sit down and think of 5 exercises that you enjoy doing that are easy. Every hour of the day, commit to doing at least one of the five exercises at least one time per hour. That's it! It's that easy. The hard part is that you have to commit to doing this for the rest of your life. The perpetual exercises are done IN ADDITION TO your normal gym routine. Perpetual exercises complement your existing gym routine, they don't replace your normal routine. Within a few weeks, you should start seeing positive results. Within a few weeks of starting perpetual exercises, I noticed an increased stamina and endurance in my saxophone playing. I was able to practice my saxophone for longer periods of time.
Once you think of personal perpetual exercise ideas, really commit to them by writing them down. Once you do that, you will be well on your way to becoming a physically fit professional, semi-professional, or amateur saxophonist.