Holistic Health & Dance: What You Can Do To Improve Both
The relationship between dance and health is a deeply interconnected one. On the one hand, the healthier and fitter you are, the better you'll be able to dance. On the other hand, dancing can significantly contribute to your physical activity and promote overall wellness. In fact, recent research has found health benefits in taking dance breaks for people who spend long hours at their desk jobs. Experts have discovered long-term adverse side effects of sitting down for long periods, calling it an occupational hazard.
Aside from dancing as a great and fun way to keep your muscles moving during a workday, it can also be an effective mood booster for most. In today's post, we'll look at some of the ways you can improve both your holistic health and dancing ability:
Eating healthier foods can help improve a dancer's overall performance. Don't be mistaken — this doesn't mean you have to only eat leafy greens if you don't want to. A healthy balance of proteins, carbs, and fats is beneficial for building stamina and strength. This includes managing portion sizes depending on your dance needs and tracking your physical activity. Balancing the different aspects of your fitness journey will help dancers working towards particular body builds to lose weight and maintain it safely over time. Instead of focusing on restrictive and trendy diet "hacks," look into the nutrients you need to fuel your dancing, such as more carb-filled meals for a sustainable energy source.
Boost body confidence
Confidence is vital for dancers, regardless of style. A lack of confidence can easily show through your dance and body movements. Your body image impacts how you feel, which will be projected in your performances, affecting high-intensity situations such as auditions, castings, and competitions. Mindfulness exercises such as yoga and meditation can help you balance your physical and mental conditions before and after a performance. Moreover, yoga can boost strength and flexibility for dancers while helping relieve pain and improving sleep. Making positive changes to your health, nutrition, and lifestyle can be a great way to boost your body confidence. Investing in your body confidence will also let you improve your craft and learn new techniques more easily.
Maintain your dance equipment
Specific dance equipment may be required depending on the dance style you specialize in. This can range from dance costumes and outfits made of materials that support breathability or better movement to a variety of dance shoes, depending on your dance style. We've previously written about what affects the longevity of your dance shoes and the basics of dance shoe care by periodically aerating them. So what does your dance equipment have to do with your health? Dance is a physical activity, so using damaged or the wrong sizes of dance equipment can result in accidents and injuries. Even ballet shoes that aren't tied right can cause severe slips and foot injuries. Investing in high-quality dancewear and equipment and taking the time to maintain them can go a long way in ensuring your health while improving your dance skills.
Practice Self LoveLastly, no pursuit of holistic health is enough without self-love and confidence. While it may look like your body is doing most of the work while you dance, your mind is just as present and necessary. Dancing requires focus and concentration, and much like your dance equipment, not being in the right state of mind while dancing may lead to accidents and injuries. This goes the other way around as well, as dance is an excellent outlet for mental exercises such as self-expression, stress management, and community building. For many, dancing can improve confidence, motivation, and happiness while decreasing anxiety and depression. Ultimately, investing in your physical as well as your mental health can be significantly beneficial for your dancing.
Overall, it helps to remember that as a dancer, your health really matters to your craft. Exercising holistic habits consistently can keep you in great condition — even after you've retired from the stage.
Article written by Riva James and exclusively submitted to DanceWear Corner