- Drink plenty of water (duh) but especially 1 hour before class
- Stetch using a foam roll or balance ball if you have one
- Do static stretching; meaning stretching while standing still
- Stretch in the morning, throughout the day, before and after class
- Stretch...are you getting the picture?...stretch often
Stretching gets a bum rap. Being flexible and improving mobility is an integral part of living healthy. If you want to lose weight, stretch. If you want to garden stretch. If you want to play with the kids...you get it!
Why is stretching important? Your muscles support your body all day. Unfortunately most of us spend a tremendous amount of time in one or two positions; sitting or standing. These positions force muscles to go unused for much too long. When you stretch you warm up and increased joint mobility. If nothing else stretch so that you are not in pain as often.
Have you noticed when you have been sitting for a long time what happens when you get up? Yea, lower back feels tight. You might even feel pain in the knees, ankles, calf, even shoulders. Why? Because you have been practically frozen in one position.
So move. Guess what stretching; static, active, and dynamically all help to burn calories too! Static stretching is when you stretch while standing still; such as arms over head while standing with both feet shoulder width apart. Active stretching for example is when you alternate one arm at a time over head. Dynamic stretching is mostly done prior to a specific movement, such as the swimmers arm circles.
The point is if you want to dance for ever increase flexibility and mobility through stretching. Not to mention you will reduce injuries to hips, knees, ankles, and lower back!