Most of you are probably nearing the end of your summer dance program, and we would venture to guess that you may be starting to feel a little worn down. But these final weeks are still so crucial! Now it’s time to put what you have learned to work and continue to build on your new knowledge. It is especially important to take care of your body, since it is your instrument. Here are five practices that will nourish your “instrument” and help to prevent injury so that you can get the most out of these last few weeks.
This one may seem fairly obvious, but with the excitement of summer camps, dancers often find themselves staying up later than they normally would, and missing out on important sleep. Well, if you can’t seem to adjust your sleep schedule, take advantage of a break in your schedule to snag a cat nap. Even 20 mins of shut eye will benefit your body and make you feel more alert. So, grab your favorite warm ups and a quiet corner to catch some Z’s.
When you are dancing all day long, 3 meals a day just won’t cut it. Your muscles are constantly burning fuel, and you need to make sure you are giving them what they need. During the day, especially the afternoon, grab a protein bar that is full of carbs and protein. Yes carbs! You need those carbs for a quick burst of energy.
Most importantly, at the end of the day, don’t wait hours until dinner to refuel. Within 20 minutes of finishing your last class, refuel with some protein. It doesn’t have to be much, but that 20 minute window is when your body is trying to recover. Immediately ingesting protein will help your muscles recharge and get ready for the next day.
Make sure you are constantly filling your favorite water bottle up all day long! Set a goal for yourself and try to stick to it. Again, your body is constantly working, and you are sweating all day. Make sure you replenish what you lost by rehydrating with electrolytes. Try to grab a Gatorade or Smart Water throughout the day to put back what you are taking away. Another good tip post workout is to grab a snack that is a little salty. After all, salt is a main ingredient in electrolyte products.
4. Roll Out
Grab that foam roller that you see in the studio, and spend some quality time with it. Spend some time on those thighs, hamstrings, back, calves, etc. This is the best way to release tension in your muscles, allowing them to work more effectively. If your muscles get too tight, they may start to shut off causing other muscles to compensate. So, keep your muscles working in harmony by rolling out at the end of the day.
Give those muscles the TLC they want by taking the time to ice aches and pains at the end of the day. Healing can’t happen when swelling is present, so it’s extra important to take good care of those trouble spots. With a busy schedule it may often feel hard to find time for a good icing session, but when your body is feeling fatigued, it is most important. So take some time at night, while you are in bed checking your social media before bed, to rejuvenate!
All of us at DanceWear Corner hope that you are having a great summer full of dance! Take a moment to let us know what you are up to! Leave a comment and photo below for a chance to be featured on our social media!