Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ballet Injury, Pain And Over Use and Muscle Recovery Time

I am shocked at the periodic reports I get about dancers' training schedules. Five to six hours a day, and as much as twelve hours on a Saturday, and then maybe two to three hours on a Sunday. Somehow a dancer may feel that he or she is imitating a professional training schedule, in their local dance academy.

Young dancers with this kind of drive need some counseling about muscle recovery. Not that recovery time is taken into consideration in general in the ballet world. Studios without any input from local physiotherapists or chiropractors (who would probably love to come to your dance school and lecture on the topic), can allow dancers to get carried away with extra recital/competition rehearsal or exam preparation.

I wince when I am asked by a student (not mine) "I have had pain in this area for two months now - do I need to start resting it?"

Most ballet teachers have or have had a student who, they know, will go home and run through the variation fifteen more times in broken pointe shoes, on a concrete floor, if necessary. Nothing will stop them.

Except, unfortunately, a ballet injury. It must be the days of relentless rain that is making me feel a little gloomy about this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Glycemic Load Chart

I found this at Dr. Al Sears site, a glycemic load chart. He explains the glycemic index numbers and the glycemic load numbers.

Good to know if you're trying to load up on healthy foods to satisfy the hunger of tired muscles, without eating carbohydrates that offer no nutrition - and, some that do, but could be substituted for lower glycemic loading foods.

Eat well! Your dancing muscles deserve it.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Reader’s Choice Top Dance Blogs of 2010 Competition




Nichelle of Dance Advantage
is running a contest for the Readers' Choice Top Dance Blog of 2010.

Each dance blog responding to this contest, will be evaluated by the number of their readers' comments, and will be eligible to earn the title.

So please let me know by adding your comment, how much you enjoy this blog. We dance bloggers are a vast community, with much shared appreciation for all the dance education every blogger offers. I will very much appreciate it if you can leave some words for this blog.

I have already enjoyed the exposure to other dance bloggers I haven't come across till now, just because of this contest invite. This is fun!

I have always admired Nichelle for her Dance Advantage site and the vast range of dance topics she posts about.

Happy Holidays All!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Whey Protein Is Useful For Building Muscle Mass

Many dance students want to know about natural muscle building, and build those muscles up. Perhaps you want to lose weight and keep it down, or simply build healthy muscle for your ballet training. Whatever your reason, understanding how protein functions as the body's prime fuel, and aids in maintaining a healthy weight, will influence your choice of a protein supplement. If you are on a fat burning diet, please bear in mind that most protein supplements are not meal replacements, but can be used to help you restore muscle that you break down with exercise.

So why think about adding protein if you eat healthy meals? At one end of the spectrum you can get the drive-through hamburger, reduced in calories by having a lettuce wrap instead of a bun. However, you still have the load of saturated fat, with questionable quality beef. Beef fed with grains, which give you too much omega 6 oils, and not enough omega 3 oils. The abundance of omega 6 fatty acids promotes inflammation in the body. Inflammation is natural, but should always be a temporary healing process in the body. Chronic inflammation leads to the "killer diseases": cancer, Diabetes, arterial disease, heart disease, everything a natural diet will help you avoid.

By natural - the other end of the spectrum - I mean organically produced foods, vegetables and fruits and salads uncontaminated by cancer-causing pesticides and herbicides. And when it comes to meats - why shouldn't those animals eat organically and naturally too? Fortunately, many herds do.

You can then benefit by getting protein powder made from healthy whey - milk from not miserable cows, spared the grains, growth hormones and antibiotics that most bovines are fed. Cows that get sunshine and get to wander around munching on juicy green grass. You get the benefit of higher anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats in the resulting foods. And the key here is that when your body is fed enough protein, it is triggered to allow the burning of fat for energy.

Years ago I spent a weekend in the country at a fellow performer's family farm. At the end of every hearty home-grown meal, all the leftovers were wiped into a huge bowl to be taken out to the pigs. I commented on how well their pigs were fed. My friend's grandmother quipped "Well, we're going to eat them!".

That was the first time I ever thought about what the animals I ate, ate. I was very ignorant of the "progress" in the food industry. I recommend that you eat well-fed protein products if you are trying to improve your natural muscle building.