When it comes to dancing or ballet rehearsals in December, the cold weather is not going to be your friend. The greatest winter woe for any of us who like to be physically active is that the chill makes the muscles and ligaments tight, increasing the risk of injury. This can cause sprains, strains or even just more soreness. So it’s time to pack your dance shorts in the trunk, or your legs and arms will be bearing the brunt.
As the thermostat starts to go down, your body adapts and changes its functioning. Your body works to protect the precious life-sustaining organs – the heart, liver, lungs, etc – driving more blood to them and taking energy and blood flow away from your extremities like arms and legs. That is why your toes, fingertips, and nose get so cold because they are not getting the blood supply they usually do.
So the vital lesson here, especially for dancers, is to pick out and prepare outfits for a winter dance session so that you are well-protected and at a lower risk of injury. Here are a few pro tips for doing just that.
Forget Your Dance Shorts. It’s Time For Winter Gear.
To stay warm and comfortable all through the winters, you need to have the right gear. When it’s freezing or snowy outside, your dance tights, leotards, and dance shorts aren’t going to cut it. So if you don’t have the winter wardrobe to keep you well protected, it’s time to go shopping and get some nice thermal leggings for yourself. Take your time and explore a variety of different options such as dance sweatshirts and dance pants that offer you flexibility with durability. If your class doesn’t require shoes, be sure to pick a few leg warmers, shrugs and socks.
Layering Is Essential
This one can get a bit complicated because you can find yourself taking your extra layers on and off too often. You need to stay warm on your way to dance classes, so few things are better than thermal underwear sets for women. But once you’re there and working up a sweat, you’d feel the need to take it off. So what can you do? Here’s what we recommend.
- Your bottom layer should be the one that you’re gonna be wearing to rehearsal. It can be your leotard or dance shorts or tights.
- The next layer should be something like a long-sleeved dance sweatshirt that keeps your upper body warm.
- For bottom wear, your dance pants should suffice on most moderate winter days. When it starts to get extra chilly, opt for leg warmers instead.
- If it feels too hot for a sweatshirt, a shrug can do the trick. But always be sure to have at least something over your leotard.
- For blustery winter days, a thick and warm winter coat will keep you snug and warm. The longer in length, the better.
- If you don’t have to wear shoes to class, be sure to have some warm-up gear like socks handy. Also, be sure to invest in some quality boots or waterproof shoes.
For anyone who loves dancing, they know that their feet are one of the most important assets. So protecting them is vital. When there’s freezing rain pelting down or six inches of snow on the ground, your old sneakers are not the ideal candidate for going outside. Make sure to cover your feet with good quality winter boots and shoes that are lined with waterproof material. You gotta keep your feet warm, dry and comfortable for a dance session that leaves you feeling great.
Lost The Layers As You Warm Up
Once you reach class and are preparing to warm up, don’t forget to lose your layers. While it’s certainly prudent to wear thermals for women as your base layer, doing strenuous activities in them is not advisable. Your body could overheat, causing heat exhaustion and health consequences like dizziness and fainting. Just be sure that when you’re done with your rehearsal, you take a quick shower and slip back into your multiple layers of clothing. Bundle up well and cover all your extremities.
And that’s it! Pretty basic stuff, right? Well, it’s the basics that are the most important, and also, the most frequently forgotten. Keep these in mind and you’ll have excellent dance rehearsals every winter season. But before you go hopping on to your next sesh, here are some quick tips to manage well through the frigid weather:-
- Never skip a warm-up. Doesn’t matter if you’re running late, it’s crucial to stretch well before you begin exercising. This is important even more so when it’s cold outside. Not only will it keep you safe from critical injury, it’ll also keep you in better shape.
- Eat well and eat right. You feel hungrier in winters because your body is working extra to stay warm. So a healthy diet free of processed carbs and filled with fruits and veggies is your ticket to a healthy, toned body. Or else your body will lose heat and energy more readily and you’ll find yourself exhausted early in your dance practice.
- Drink lots of water. Dancing is as extensive a workout as most other gym exercises. You might be too focused on your routine and forget to drink well during class. So it’s important to drink plenty of liquid life before and after your rehearsal, and also make a mindful effort to keep taking swigs here and there throughout it.
- Consider taking supplements. During the hotter seasons, you’re outside a lot and get plenty of sun. Your body produces ample amounts of Vitamin D as a natural consequence. But during the winter seasons, you don’t go out as often, nor is the sun so bright. So you might easily get a deficiency in Vitamin D during the time. For healthier bones, and thus better dance performances, Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium well to promote healthy bone growth. So you can consider consulting your doctor and start taking supplements that are right for you.