Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keeping Your Dancer Healthy

We’ve been noticing that a lot of dancers forget to take care of themselves throughout dance classes and rehearsals. Here are a few tips to remember because just like any other athlete, dancers need to nourish themselves properly to ensure the best focus and strength possible, as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a young athlete!

Keep their bag packed with these items:

- Calories! Kids in general need more calories than adults, especially when exercising, so remember to adjust daily calorie intake to the dancer’s age and level of dance intensity!

-Carbohydrates are essential! Complex Carbs give a great energy boost right before a work out or even during activity to maintain energy levels. Keep some high carb foods like low sodium pretzels, peanut butter on whole wheat, breakfast cereal, and tuna jerky in your dance bag to make sure you always have a quick energy boost available to you!

-Fats! Many people try to avoid foods high in fats but, fats are truly necessary in a healthy, balanced diet. Pick foods that are LOW in saturated fats to get the benefits of “good fats”. Variety of nuts, pumpkin seeds, and whole grain crackers are all examples of healthy fats.

-Vitamins and Minerals! Always monitor calcium and iron levels as exercise can often lower iron levels. Similarly, calcium is crucial in keeping bones strong and preventing stress fractures on the body. String cheese, yogurt, cereal bars are great calcium snacks. Veggies, fruits, and fruit crisp can help fulfill iron and other vitamin needs.

-Water! Hydration is equally important as food intake for young athletes. Do not wait until thirsty to drink water as thirst is a poor indicator of hydration. Try to drink BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER exercise to keep water levels sustained throughout the day. Also, for a more tasty hydration try ZICO, a coconut water that contains electrolytes to replenish the body.

Always remember these suggestions when choosing to nourish your body for activity.

Keep Dancing!
Staff Writer at Love to Dance, Inc.

No comments: