Not all musical progress is achieved with an instrument in hand! Exercise is undoubtedly one of those popular new years resolutions, and it's a great complement to your musical resolutions. If beginning, reinstating, or improving an exercise routine is one of your resolutions, it will almost certainly help your playing as well.
I'm curious what sports and areas of exercise other instrumentalists do at least in part with their instrument in mind. For example, singers, brass, and wind players need strong healthy lungs. Do a lot of these sorts of musicians do regular cardio workouts to improve this?
As a guitarist, I stretch thoroughly at least once a day, since our sitting posture can be stressful on the back. Many of my colleagues swear by pilates or yoga. I also really enjoyed swimming when I lived near a pool, but now the only other exercise I do is walking (about an hour most days). Sometime the walking is built into my routine as transportation, other times it's more intentional, but I certainly notice when it's lacking. I feel sluggish and inactive in my daily life, my music and focus suffer too.
Have any music students started a new sport or kind of exercise lately? Have you noticed any effect on your playing or practice? Has anyone started a sport specifically to improve their playing?
Are there any sports that DON'T go well with your instrument? Guitarists, for example, need to be very careful with our hands and fingers. Even a tiny cut or strain can make playing difficult. Therefore, sports such as rock-climbing that put our hands in precarious positions do not mesh well with our practice goals.