Whether it’s a workout, dance class, walking, a bit of tennis or rollerskating in the park, my body always wants to move and needs to move. The key is consistency and varying intensity.
For some reason fitness has become synonymous with strength but being strong is only one aspect of being fit and doesn’t have to be the most important. Building big muscles in isolation for the sake of looking a certain way isn’t my idea of fitness. Any sport, dance or physical activity which uses the whole body and the weight of the body to increase strength will result in a balanced and toned physique and can also have the benefits of being enjoyable and sociable. I never dread exercise like some people may dread the gym because I love dancing!
Flexibility is not just for dancers and gymnasts. Everyone can benefit from increased movement range and and muscle length. Correct stretching not only increases blood flow to the muscles but more importantly it reduces the risk of injury and improves posture. I love stretching after a dance class while my body is warm; relaxing into gentle stretches which I will try and repeat every few days.
The way someone moves in every day life can be very attractive. Coordination is something that is not only useful in sport or dance but in everything we do physically. An elegant walk, a running style which looks easy, body-language which is smooth and controlled may all seem like simple things but they all require a high level of coordination. Sport and dance develop our coordination which not only improves physical but also mental fitness.
I have to say that stamina is my weakness, I’ve always been more of a sprinter, a jumper, an anaerobic athlete. I’m trying to work on my muscle endurance because it is so important in ballet, to be able to make it through even a 1 minute variation! My cardiovascular system is always a work in progress. I can walk a long way or sprint 100m pretty quickly but ask me to jog 10K… That’s why I’m adding in some cardio into my exercise routine. It’s all about balance and identifying your strengths and weaknesses and trying to improve.