Irish Dancers - Is your Battery Fully Charged?
Updated: Apr 12, 2020
I charge my phone for three reason:
When it has completely run out of battery (and I try to prevent this from happening).
Every night to make sure it’s fully charged for the next morning.
If I know I’m going to be busy for a while and need my phone, I’ll charge it before to make sure it has as much battery life as possible.
Now think about your body…how are you charging that “battery” to give you the most energy so you can perform at your best? The same three reasons for why I charge my phone applies to your body as well.
1. When it has completely run out of battery (and I try to prevent this from happening).
Just like your phone, we want to prevent your body from burnout and being completely run down. When you are stressed and overworked, your body will respond with various stress responses: anxiety, changes in sleep, changes in digestion, getting sick, etc. At this phase, your body will force you to take a rest from everything going on in your life including your Irish dance training and recover. Just like for your phone, we want to prevent this from happening!
2. Every night to make sure it’s fully charged for the next morning.
Just like your phone, your body needs daily “recharging” and TLC to perform at it’s best. Research has found a direct correlation between lack of recovery and increase incident of safety and health problems. Some major factors are:
Nutrition - are your fueling your body with food that is high in nutrients that will fuel your body for your grueling dance schedule? Or foods that make you tired and deplete you of energy?
Sleep - are you getting an adequate amount of quality sleep at night? The Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 hours for ages 6-13 and 8-10 hours for teenagers. Many times we sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity. But research has shown the exact opposite to be true.
Exercise - your busy dance schedules have you exercising most days of the week. But are you utilizing a well-rounded approach or only dancing? Are you strength training and working on your flexibility and mobility as well? Not only will strength and mobility training improve your performance but it will also reduce your risk of injury.
3. If I know I’m going to be busy for a while and need my phone, I’ll charge it before to make sure it has as much battery life as possible.
Charging your body’s “battery” should not just be a reactive approach but a proactive one. Let’s get ahead of any stresses your body will encounter. When you know you’re going into a long stretch of intense training, prepare for it. Take some time off to prepare yourself and hit your “reset” button. Meal prep, organize the area where you practice at home, set up your calendar and schedule what each day will look like.
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