11 Ways to Keep in Dance Shape Over the Holidays

December 24, 2016

by Allison Gupton

Maybe the only hard part about a holiday is staying disciplined when it comes to keeping in shape and eating healthy. We’ve all been there. But there are several reasons to be conscientious about your health over a holiday break, including upcoming spring performances, audition season and maintaining your overall dance shape. Here are 11 ways to help you stay in dance shape as you celebrate and bring in the new year.

#1. Do cardio at least three times a week.

This goes without saying. Some sort of workout is necessary to staying in dance shape over a holiday break. Teach your family a yoga class, go for a daily morning run, or do some abdominal workouts. Here is a wonderful abdominal exercise from the fit and fabulous creator of the Dancebody Workout program, LB Kass. This is a simple exercise to repeat each morning to start your day right:

Plié Flex

-Begin in wide 2nd position plié.

-Arms are wide second with hands spread and fingers extended.

-Add resistance under arm, flex your arms as you bend in a side crunch. Reach right elbow to right knee.

-As you return to center press yours arms in a butterfly press (bring them in towards each other) with a small contraction engaging the abs.

-Repeat to the left side.

#2. Try not to graze.

Make it a point to try and resist standing in the kitchen where all kinds of tins of munchies reside. And while you or whoever is cooking, resist the urge to snack on whatever is being prepared.

#3. Limit your dessert intake.

I know those fudge squares are calling your name, because they’re calling mine, too. But you have to limit yourself. Have a goal in mind of eating only one or two sweet things per day, and really savor them.

#4. Meditate daily.

Meditation might not be your thing, maybe you’ve never tried it, but a holiday break is perfect time to start. Just take quiet time to clear your mind and think positive thoughts. Why not think about all your achievements this past year and your goals for 2017?

#5. Get outside.

Go for a hike, or take your niece or nephew for a stroll. One of the healthiest things to do for your piece of mind, and to stay in dance shape, is to get some quality outside time over a holiday break and boost your Vitamin D levels by soaking up a little sunshine.

#6. Perform dances for your family.

Because…why not? Show your family the dances you have been working on, or make up some fun moves to share. Either way, remembering your choreography or spontaneous bouts of dancing will be good for your mind and body.

#7. Drink lots of water.

This may seem a bit obvious, too, but with all of the other beverage options available, water might be overlooked. One trick is for every glass of [insert beverage here] you drink, drink a glass of water after it.

#8. Get your green on.

“Do your best to add greens to each meal,” LB Kass suggests. “For example, add spinach to your eggs, side salad with your turkey at lunch and broccoli to your chicken at night.”

#9. Stretch every other day.

Stretch in some capacity at least every other day. Even if it’s just sitting in a butterfly in front of a fire while reading a book, stretching is stretching. Being stiff and regressing is not ideal when it comes to getting back into the swing of things.

#10. Play physical activity-type games with your family.

Bring on the Wii, Xbox and the Just Dance tournaments! Rope your family in to some sort of playful, energetic activity game inside the house on a TV, or take the fun outside for Bocce ball or a game of Tag.

#11. Think portion control.

LB Kass says, “The Holidays are a wonderful time of year, but it’s difficult to stay on track of your eating habits. Enjoy food in moderation, and always keep in mind your portion control. Eat your dinner as early as you can. Give your body time to digest before you sleep.”

Article produced by Dance Informa.