OUR TOP 4 TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY THROUGH WINTER
- Eat balanced meals
While reaching for a sugary quick-fix is tempting – and might provide a short-term boost – what we eat and drink can dramatically impact our moods and energy levels. Relying on high sugar foods, biscuits and chips to keep us going can leave us riding the blood sugar rollercoaster. We feel great for a short time, but soon our energy, concentration and mood can plummet. So be sure to actively include food from all five food groups for a balanced diet to help level things out.
- Vitamin D for strong bones
Vitamin D, which you can receive from healthy doses of sunshine, plays a substantial role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These two factors are extremely important for maintaining healthy bones, especially necessary in dancers to assist in avoiding the likelihood stress fractures occurring. As dancers, we DO tend to spend a lot of time indoors, so this is one vitamin that you need to make sure that you keep tabs on; whether by time outdoors each day where possible, or making sure you get your Vit D fix through food and/or taking a supplement.
- Warm up properly
As tempting as it is to just sit in splits and stretch, it is really not the best way to take care of your body through Winter (or at anytime of the year, for that matter). Sue Mayes, the Principal Physiotherapist of the AB suggest the following;
A good warm-up before class is to take the muscle through its range dynamically, rather than to sit in a stretch. For instance, you could do a slow, controlled cloche (where the leg swings like the clapper of a bell), using the muscle to decelerate. Before morning class, most of the company’s dancers spend some time in the gym gently strengthening all their muscles, waking them up and readying them for ballet moves. They’ll take the muscle to the extreme edge of a movement, but in a slow, controlled way, and then gradually increase the speed until the body temperature is up and the muscles feel warm and elastic.
- Reduce Stress levels
As the days get shorter and colder, you can find that this can potentially have a significant affect on our mental health, not getting enough sunlight is proven to have an adverse affect on our mood. Aside from getting outside when possible, try to make sure that you find some time to do things that you enjoy (other than dancing!). Practicing mindfulness and meditation has also been proven to help manage stress, reduce negative emotions and boost feelings of wellbeing.
We hope that these tips will help you survive Winter healthily and happily!