Because dancers must have the mentality of both an athlete and an artist, their lifestyle can be draining. Classes, exercises, rehearsals and performances are all part of their regular routine.
Maintaining a healthy body and mind, however, should be at the top of every dancer’s list of priorities. Here are some tips that can help dancers maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle:
Don’t forget to rest
Dancing demands a lot from your body. Giving it time to rest and recover is important in building a long and rewarding career. Listen to your body and look for the early signs of fatigue. Don’t be afraid to take time off if your body needs it.
Eat nutritious meals
Body image is a big concern for many dancers. This is especially true for girls. Many strive for a thin appearance at the expense of their caloric intake and overall health.
For girls, this can be the first step in a common disorder called the female athlete triad. It includes:
- Eating disorders–To keep a slimmer appearance, dancers may restrict their food intake. This can result in inadequate nutrition.
- Irregular menstruation–The combination of inadequate nutrition and increased physical activity can result in missed or irregular periods.
- Poor bone health–An altered diet and irregular menstruation can weaken a dancer’s bones. This increases their risk of fractures.
Our team teaches dancers how to maintain a healthy weight and use supplements appropriately.
On top of being bad for your lungs and heart, smoking can negatively affect bone health. This puts dancers at a higher risk for fractures and other injuries.
Don’t ignore pain
If you are experiencing pain during or after a rehearsal or exercise, allow your body time to recover. If the pain continues, contact Children’s. Our physical therapists can identify and treat many of the sources of pain that dancers experience.
Do more than dance
Dancing can be a consuming art form. It can often feel like if you aren’t dancing, you are wasting time. It is just as important to find other interests in life. Look for ways to relieve stress and have fun outside of dancing to give your mind and body a break once in awhile.