Maybe you have spent some good social time with loved ones over the break - Maybe you have eaten more - and stayed up later than you should have... maybe you danced more than you wanted to …. or danced less than you wanted to.
This is exactly what the holidays are for! Now that the New Year is in – it is important for you to:
Plan for More Supplemental Exercise!
You remember to dance, likewise, you can remember to plan and make time for your exercise. Exercise should become a habit - just like brushing your teeth!
While dancers often dance, they do not plan for supplemental exercise to get stronger, get more flexibility, and more endurance
You would not skip food or a work because you “don’t feel like it”.
Rather than putting exercise on a to-do list, add exercise in your planner and phone calendar. Set up alerts - if possible use smart watches and technology to help you stay on track with your exercise.
Bottom-line, as the old Slogan goes – Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance!
Choose a form of supplemental exercise that you actually enjoy doing
Planning is just the start. If you do not like the form of exercise, you mind will always find reasons to not exercise - and it will always be difficult to continue with the exercise form consistently. The form can be running, lifting weights, or playing a sport.
Find out what YOU like to do!
The great thing is that the options are endless. Cross-Fit, Zumba, Yoga, Swimming.... these are just SOME of the possible options.
The FUN part is that you can always switch it up.... Maybe you will find what excites you and your supplemental exercise time can actually be fun- something that you look forward to - instead of a chore!
The added bonus – BETTER HEALTH AND BETTER DANCING
Exercise helps decrease stress hormones and increases feel-good endorphins, strengthens muscles, ligaments, and bones, and improves cardiovascular health – all these can help you last longer as a dancer during practice and performance.
Find a Commitment Device or Workout Friend or Both!
Once you’ve scheduled your exercise times, and decided your exercise form - decide what will happens if you don’t go through with it - get someone or something to help you remain on the consistent track to exercise! Researchers consistently report that those who use Commitment Devices (workout friends, writing in a journal, using smartphone apps) stay exercising longer.
Find another dancer, and meet up for the same exercise class - Find ways to motivate each other to stay healthy!
Be Kind to Yourself
All of us have good days - All of us have bad days. Don’t punish yourself on those bad days. It’s okay if you’re not getting as much done as you had planned, or aren’t as fast at your work as you normally are. Just do your best.
Understand that exercising, and being a better dancer like life - is not a sprint - it is a marathon….
So get up, keep exercising and keep dancing!!
Dr. Ambegaonkar is the chair of SADMSA. He is a certified athletic trainer, strength and conditioning specialist, and occupational therapist. He is the founding director of the Sports Medicine Assessment Research and Testing (SMART) laboratory in the USA.