Below are eight tips from Dallas Stars Ice Girls veteran, Becky, on staying healthy and fit during the dance season:
1. Don’t Count on Working off a Bad Diet
Some people are able to eat whatever they want and still look great, but the majority of the population (myself included) cannot get away with that. Most of us have to consciously put in the work to eat well and consistently stay active. The key to reaching your fitness goals is to eat a healthy diet alongside a consistent workout plan. You probably have heard that eating healthy is the main component to weight loss and muscle gain, and it is completely true.
When I started to prepare for my first professional dance team auditions and actually made the commitment to eat clean, it was the first time in my life I saw dramatic results. That, combined with my workouts, really gave me the look and stamina I needed to perform at my best and feel good about myself.
2. Plan Your Meals
The phrase, “fail to plan, plan to fail” couldn’t be more true for clean eating. If I don’t personally plan out my meals in advance and take the time to prepare healthy food, I will definitely not eat as healthy. It’s a lot easier to just go to a drive-thru at a fast food restaurant than it is to pre-make healthy meals every day, but let’s face it, we don’t sign on for “easy” when we are on professional dance teams. I recommend either meal prepping daily or hunkering down each Sunday to meal prep for the entire week. Whatever works best for you and your schedule!
3. Eat What Works for Your Body
I know some people count calories and macros, and that is great if it works for them, but personally I have never been successful with that! Instead, I try to eat as clean as possible and include lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat meats and proteins. Water is EXTREMELY important as well!
4. Make Time to Workout
Working out and staying fit during a busy season can definitely be a challenge. Dancing and skating at practices and games throughout the year is a great workout. However, it is not enough to maintain your physique, which means it is very important to do your own workouts. Many of you already know it is very difficult to keep up with personal workouts during a crazy dance season (with Ice Girls, we have 40+ games, practices twice per week and appearances to fit into our schedules along with a career and personal life). The bottom line is, working out is just like anything else that’s important to people: if it’s a priority, you’ll make it happen.
5. Have Fun With Your Workouts
I am of the firm belief that every person should find a personal workout they enjoy. If you don’t love it, you won’t do it. Personally, I love to run and life weights. Running is peaceful and helps me clear my mind. It also helps me with my endurance. During a hockey game, which we all know can easily go into overtime, that endurance will come in handy. Whether on the ice pushing heavy loads of snow, or dancing song after song on the platform, each Ice Girl needs to have the stamina to last the entire game.
A great way to stay motivated is to have an accountability partner (or several, because you have an entire team of sisters to choose from)! Ask friends for workout tips and see what works for them. Meet up with teammates for a workout class or boot camp. The more people you involve in your workout plans, the better!
6. Lift Weights
Besides eating clean, my biggest physical transformation, especially in my arms and core, can be attributed to weight lifting. I used to think if women lifted weights, we would become bulky and not look as feminine. This is absolutely not true! Weight lifting helps sculpt women’s bodies and accentuates the muscles that we all have, so be sure to push your strenght limits by lifting as much and as often as you can.
7. Don’t Just Watch the Scale
As females, we tend to get caught up with the number we see on the scale. Please don’t do this! Everyone has a different body and shape, and the scale doesn’t always reflect that. Instead, try to give yourself personal goals. My goals include eating clean consistently, working out daily, and trying to get to my own personal goal measurements.
8. Reward Yourself
Everyone deserves occasional rewards. If you reach your goals, give yourself a reward. No one is perfect, and if you slip up, don’t be too hard on yourself- just get back on track the next day! Staying fit is a journey, not a destination. It’s something that takes daily, consistent behavior. If I can do it, anyone can!
Be sure to follow Becky on Twitter @DSIG_Becky