I have always believed in "Practice what you preach."
As a dancer, it was rather easy for me to practice what I preached. I was very young, full of exuberant energy, and ALWAYS moving. That, coupled with one of those "high metabolisms" allowed me to eat what I wanted, not maintain a regular work out routine, and not be concerned.
So, now, a little older (not much – I will be perpetually young!), I have a more realistic view of what that means. OK, so, I am still extremely active and I love outdoor activity. But now, I have to supplement my teaching with additional workouts as well. I do things like squats and push ups, I use my pull up bar for pulling my body up rather than hanging dry cleaning, and I use weight training activity for healthy bones. Not to mention, taking a walk for some fresh air and a dose of good old "Sunny D."
Recently I was reflecting on a lecture I gave called "Fitness on the Go." I was thinking of the various topics and recommendations that I offer people to implement daily activity into their busy lives. I thought to myself for a moment, "Do I really do these things?". Gladly, I found my immediate answer was, "Yes, I do", (Most of them anyway). Any activities I recommend in my lecture that I do less frequently, I started to practice again.
Awareness and Mindset
So much of what we do has to do with awareness and mindset. Be aware of posture, core activation, level of energy and whether or not you can increase it. Then, set your mind to "just do it" as Nike so coined.
My 5 Point Posture Check
For years now, I have started every dance class off with my 5 Point Posture Check. In "Fitness on the Go," I talk about how this is something you can do while you are standing waiting for an elevator or sitting at your desk. Just think about your spine for a moment. How are you holding your body, are you sitting straight or rounded? Do you have your abs engaged or completely relaxed. Does it feel good or is there discomfort? If it feels good, GREAT! - R&R is extremely important as well. Either way, you can check in a few times a day to get your posture working for you.
Core Activation (tightening the belt)
I also talk about engaging your transversis for core activation. Transversis is a muscle beneath your "Six Pack" muscle, the rectus abdominis. Anyway, (all Latin terms aside) think of it as an internal belt, and tighten the belt a notch. This can help keep you more aware of how you are holding your torso and lower back. It's also a little cheat to get in crunches when you don't have a mat and floor space handy. Just contract and release as you wait ever so patiently for the elevator to get to your floor.
Movement is Dance
Try putting on music you love! Dance, Move, Be Creative, Have Fun! This can boost your energy, burn calories, and even change your mood.
Remember, take small steps. Changes can be accomplished with just minutes in your day, and the bottom line is – you deserve it.