In popular TV shows and music videos, hip-hop and b-boy dancers can be seen popping, locking, flipping and grooving. In theater, there are ballet dancers who do arabesques, lifts and plies. There are also jazz dancers who do splits and leaps.
Their hectic routines require strength, athleticism, flexibility and cardio-respiratory endurance, which are all the elements of physical fitness. The added pep and enjoyment of what they do gives them the edge over anyone else who is trying to lose weight and keep fit. Whether it is free style or choreographed, their performances are work outs that are fun and creative. So what do they do for nutrition and fitness?
First, one must choose a dance that he or she enjoys. This usually depends on a person’s musical tastes and preferences. Is it rock n’ roll? Or Latin music? Perhaps grooving to an R and B song at a club seems more appealing.
Apart from music, one must also think about which aspect of his or her health to improve one. Each dance has its focus and strengths. Ballroom dancing helps people with back problems as it strengthens their spinal posture and stance. Dances like Swing and Boogie increase one’s flexibility. Belly dancing originated in the Middle East and improves on a person’s abdominal and core muscles. Hip hop dances and its variations focus on one’s limbs and how they can be isolated or used to lift the whole body for tosses and flips.
Medical experts and personal trainers recommend that people exercise at least thirty minutes a day. A song usually lasts three to five minutes. In this sense, a busy person can divide his or her exercise into three mini dance sessions of two songs a day.
Two things dancers always do are warm up and cool down. Before doing their routines, they will stretch and flex to prepare their bodies. And after, they relax by lying or sitting down. Some of them even bath in ice to ease their muscle pains. These two things help them avoid injuries while dancing. Another thing dancers do to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to take routines slowly. Aiming to get stunts and choreography right all of a sudden is close to impossible. And missteps and falls are often the main causes of injuries.
The same principle can be applied to weight loss and starting one’s own fitness boot camp. Start light and slow and increase your pace and intensity as the days and weeks go along.
On their off days, dancers relax their muscles by doing pilates or yoga. These two exercises focus on muscle control and breathing.
When it comes to snacking, dancers need sugars, vitamins and carbohydrates for energy. They get these from fruits, vegetables and wheat foods like bread and cereals. To develop their muscles, they eat proteins like fish and chicken. They also get proteins from nuts and beans, which are good to nibble on. They also drink lots of water to refresh them after sweating through their performances.
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