To ensure you are hydrated, drink plenty of fresh
pure water throughout the day. If you engage in
vigorous activity, increase your consumption of
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
the brain consists of 80%water, the blood consists of 90% water.
Let’s face it, we rely on water as the basis of our existence " not soda,
or juice or coffee, tea". We need to ingest water in its purest form, free
from any chemicals in order for our cells to remain hydrated and our body
systems functioning as they should.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Dancers must have strong core muscles (abdominal and back) to have good posture and a strong center to support movement. A common exercise used is crunches, but they are not the only way to gain strength! Using crunches for gaining abdominal strength is valuable to a point, but research shows that over using spinal flexion (rounding forward), can lead to herniated discs. So what other exercise can we use for abdominal strengthening?
One good alternative is the "side plank." One study in which researchers examined six common ab exercises performed by 120 subjects to see how hard the muscles were working showed some interesting results. When compared to other common ab exercises, the side plank and the classic abdominal crunch both resulted in the greatest change in muscle thickness for the transverse abdominis and internal oblique muscles (meaning they were contracting the muscles more than the other exercises). The reason the side plank is a good choice is because it does not involve spinal flexion, and because it builds abdominal endurance (previously found to be associated with less low-back pain). The side plank also aids your total-body fat-burning workout.
To do the side plank, lie on your right side. Bend your right arm at the elbow and stack your left foot on top of your right foot. Supporting your body weight on your right forearm and your right foot, raise your body in a straight line. Your butt and thighs should hover a few inches above your mat. Keep your back straight and your hips up. Hold your abs tight, but breathe normally. Beginners should hold this position for 15 seconds on each side. Try to hold it a little longer with each workout. For advanced core strength, hold for 45 seconds per side.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Dancers it is a good practice to stretch atagonistic muscle alternately. For example, stretch the hamstrings in the back of the leg then the quadriceps muscles in the front of the legs. Alternating the stretches helps elongate the muscle even further. Dancers should also stretch the hip-flexors located in the front of the hip line alternately with the hamstrings and low back. You will know if your hamstrings and back are tight if you can not sit up on your sit bones and stretch forward without your low back immediately rounding or your knees immediately popping up off the floor. The hamstrings attach on the (sit bones) on the top and below the knee on the bottom. This is why you have to have fairly flexibly hamstrings to be able to sit at a 90-degree angle.
Dancers need to stretch on a regular basis to improve and maintain the lengthening of muscles. If you only take class a couple days a week, stretching on the other days on your own is very important. Figure out what muscles are tight and focus on these areas. A gentle stretching routine for all muscle groups is important. The arms and shoulders need to be stretched and supple just as the legs and feet. The muscles in the hips work very hard when you dance and need to be stretched and relaxed to avoid tension and injury. Remember dancers stretching is your friend!
Friday, October 3, 2008
There are several possibilities for conquering the "eating right dilemma". One of the most important tricks is not letting yourself get too hungry. Hunger often leads to overeating the types of foods that are not as healthy and often calorie dense without adequate nutrition. Instead, eat regularly and choose foods that will make you healthy and support your dancing by giving you energy and stamina. The key is to have wholesome foods available even when you are on the run.
There six basic nutrients that are essential for a healthy mind and body. The six types of nutrients include: carbohydrates (go for complex carbohydrates), fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. Work to balance your diet by eating a variety of foods. If you are only eating yogurt, oranges and rice cakes you are missing out on many important vitamins and minerals. Eat in moderation, if you have chips or soda at one meal, compensate at the next by having a nutrient dense choice like low fat turkey on whole grain bread and an apple. The third suggestion is to choose food for its wholesomeness. As in the example above, choose whole grain bread over white bread, choose whole fruit over fruit juice and water over soda. By choosing natural foods you can avoid additives and usually get more nutritional value.
Although it is not always easy to eat the healthy foods, by a little planning and fore thought you can have healthy snacks with you right in your dance bag. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (you can carry them with you) for the complex carbohydrates. They provide fuel for your muscles and brain. Drink plenty of water, it regulates your body temperature, keeps you from becoming dehydrated, carries nutrients to your cells and waste away from your cells. Eat lean protein to build and repair your muscles. If you are not sure about what the healthy choices are start by taking a look at the food pyramid and keep learning more from there. Dancers-With just a little planning there will be a healthier, happier you!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The proper development of alignment and strength in the dancer's body is crucial regardless of what style of dance is your favorite. Jazz, modern, lyrical, musical theater, even tap all require an understanding of body alignment and placement. For example, modern uses a great deal of off center movement. To find off center movement dancers must first be able to be on center and have the strength developed to hold that centered movement. Developing strong feet and ankles is not just crucial for the ballet dancer, but for all dance forms. Think of the leaps and turns and quick direction changes in jazz dance, or the constant use of the feet and ankles in tap dance. All the dance forms compliment each other with ballet being the core class. Through ballet classes dancers learn about posture and placement. They learn to create lines with the body, by extending the arms and hands, and legs and feet. They learn about port de bras or the carriage of the arms from the back and the opening of the energy in the chest. They learn about epaulment and the different angles of the head. All of these principals are there for the dancer to use in ballet class and to take with them to use in all of the other dance forms. Just do it dancers, take good ballet classes and work at mastering the technique no matter what your favorite dance form may be!