Nurturing Dance - Naturally!
Author: Natalie Baker
Date: 8th March 2019
Categories: Dance, Well Being
"If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented..."
I have been interested in health & fitness since Olivia Newton-John got physical in her pink leggings & white leotard in the early 80’s (Google it for those not in the know - it's well worth a look!)
So after many years of working in Banking, I eventually followed my heart & re-trained as a Personal Fitness Instructor & a Nutritional Therapist. I worked in a gym & freelanced giving dietary, lifestyle & supplementation advice to many people to empower them to use natural methods to assist the body to repair & heal itself & promote good health. But it was my 10 years working for a Functional Laboratory learning about appropriate tests to assist with accessing & monitoring health that highlighted (via test results) how our diet & lifestyle choices can & do influence our health & likelihood of developing diseases & certain conditions.
Patients would often turn to private testing following on from unsuccessful experiences with GP’s or from a desire to look into their health from a holistic aspect. So it was enlightening to see test results improve after a period of better eating, an introduction or increased exercise & better lifestyle choices e.g. stop smoking, reduce alcohol & caffeine.
This is where Ceroc dancing can play a huge part in improving overall health/fitness without feeling too much like hard work! Exercise is not only beneficial but essential to everyone at every age or stage of life.
"If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented," says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.
Exercise achieves the following (plus so much more):
- Aids weight loss & helps to maintain a healthy weight, therefore reducing the risk of Diabetes Type 2 & other conditions linked to being overweight.
- Reduces stress, by releasing the ‘Feel Good Hormones’ known as Endorphins.
- Improves mood & sleep quality, by improving the conversion of certain neurotransmitters in the body.
- Improves memory - anyone that has tried remembering an Intermediate class after a day at work knows how it becomes easier with practice!
- Increases oxygen flow throughout the body.
- Strengthens bones & improves flexibility, without the need to lift weights.
- Improves heart health e.g. reduces Blood Pressure & reported to reduce Cardiovascular disease by 1/3.
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as the ‘Silent Killer’, so exercise alongside a good diet of Carbohydrates, Protein, Essential fats, Fibre, Water & 40 different types of vitamins & minerals will assist in maintaining a healthy & optimal balance within.
Nutritional therapy can recommend the correct balance of each component for a specific need or just improve & restore vitality.
So as dancers we should be ensuring adequate supplies of the all the above.
These are the main source of fuel to our bodies & exercising muscles & the brain rely on CHO’s to be topped up regularly, because low levels result in a lack of energy. CHO’s are categorized as Simple & Complex –
- Simple are found in all forms of sugar e.g. glucose, sucrose, fructose & lactose.
- Complex are found in fibre & starchy vegetables.
So a diet high in complex CHO’s are advised to sustain energy levels, ensure you feel & stay full & obtain nutrients. Look to include the following in your diet:
- Wholegrain rice, pasta & bread
- Grains e.g. quinoa, barley, oats
- Legumes & beans
- Sweet potatoes, green leafy vegetables & fruit
Important for the recovery & growth of muscles, tissues, bone & cartilage after exercise. Look to include the following in your diet:
- Lean meats & fish
- Unsalted or non-roasted nuts & seeds
- Dairy, inc Soya & nut products
- Beans, lentils & spelt
Also used to create energy & crucial for concentration & memory, therefore all important after attending 4 classes back to back during a weekender! The healthier form of fats are found in:
- Oils e.g. Olive, Nut, Corn & Rapeseed
- Unsalted or roasted nuts & seeds
- Oily fish e.g. mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring
Avoid or keep to a minimum the saturated, trans & hydrogenated fats. These can often be our ‘go too, quick lift’ energy foods during or after dancing, for example biscuits, cakes, chocolate, hard cheese, processed & fatty meats e.g. sausage roll, pork pie, bacon, ham & butter. Some of these food also cross over into the Simple CHO food category, e.g. biscuits, cakes & chocolate.
Keeping hydrated helps with concentration, flushes out toxins, keeps you cool & obviously quenches thirst. But did you know, by the time you are thirsty you are already 20% on the road to dehydration.
Look to include the following in your diet:
- Plain or spring water
- Mix a fruit smoothie 50:50 with water to hydrate & increase your nutrient content
- Avoid sugary, energy or caffeinated drinks. They will make you feel temporarily alert & lift your energy, but act as a diuretic (make you pee more), therefore dehydrating you.
So considering all the above, take that first step on the ladder to improving your health by regularly attending a weekly Ceroc class & thinking about what you eat before & after a class. Plus it also improves your social life no end & brings a joy unmatched by any other type of exercise.
Want to know more about how your Nutrition can enhance your Dance passion? Check out our Nutrition Masterclasses at Ceroc Escape events in 2019! Stay healthy and happy.« All blogs