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Kurt Neumann: Whole Foods and Fitness

Published On December 16, 2013 | November/December 2013

Kurt Neumann is a singer, guitarist and songwriter of the roots-rock band the BoDeans. Although primarily a guitar player, Neumann has also been known to play the drums (his first instrument), bass, keyboards and mandolin.

How do you stay healthy on the road?
It’s really hard to stay healthy on the road. The two most important things when on the road are drinking water and sleep. Sleep is a big one; sleep is the key to life. When I’m home I make sure to exercise and eat healthy to make up for my time on the road.

What kinds of things make it difficult to stay healthy as a musician?
I don’t get enough sleep, I sing way too much, I stand in a weird position when I’m playing guitar so my back gets messed up, I drive all night sometimes to get to a hotel and I eat terrible foods because that’s what is available at the time. When I’m at home, I exercise almost everyday. I have an awesome wife who makes great food for me when I’m home; we eat a lot of whole foods, meaning we make most of our meals from scratch and I just try to avoid stress. I don’t go out a lot; I get better sleep and try to rest my voice.

Besides throat issues, what other health related ailments do you suffer from as a result of your profession?

We tend to sing five shows in a row, and that’s really hard on my throat and vocal chords. Tendonitis is in my wrist from playing drums my whole life. One time, I jabbed a pair of scissors into my hand when I was trying to fix something and it didn’t heal for a while. I cut through the nerve, and that’s a major guitar-playing finger for me, so that can be a problem. As you get older your joints definitely start to wear out, so you try to be careful in everything that you do.

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