Bee Pollen

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IMG_1493Bee pollen sprung onto my breakfast scene earlier this year when my sister-in-law brought me some back from Spain. Admittedly I had not heard about its ‘superfood’ status before. Since then I have noticed it pop up in some health food shops and cafes in London.  This is no surprise as these tiny balls are packed full of goodness and an easy addition to your meals, particularly breakfast.

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Chickpea and lentil burgers

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Chickpea and lentil burgerHaving virtually no food in the kitchen last week I raided the cupboard to see what I had lurking. I found chickpeas and lentils and decided to make burgers! It turned out pretty good and full of  good stuff. Thought you may like to try it so here is the recipe……….

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3-2-1 Cardio Blast

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photoCardiovascular exercise or training is incredibly important to all of us. No matter what your age, your heart is a muscle and needs to be exercised in order to stay healthy and keep working. Your heart is what keeps you alive and therefore is the most important organ in the whole of the human body.

Question: when was the last time you felt slightly out of breath for 20 minutes or more?

For too many of us the answer is ‘I am not sure’. If you cannot remember, then it has been too long ago.

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Risk is healthy

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Don't ever be afraid to take risks

The word ‘risk’ may instantly give you heart palpitations. It may con jour up negative connotations. Why is that?

As a woman myself, we seem to be stereotypical less inclined to take risks. Men are typically seen as the ‘risk takers’ which is probably something to do with our prehistoric male ancestors having to go out into the wilderness to hunt for food etc etc. I am sure you have heard it all before. Well, let’s put something straight.

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Music and exercise

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Music and exerciseAlthough growing up I liked music, I was never a hardcore dedicated ‘fan’ of any particular band and I just listened to anything which was force fed to me mainly by my Dad. As I hit my teens, Take That and Eternal were my favourites (!).
I played the Flute (most un-cool instrument past the age of 14 years) for a few years and then attempted to join an Orchestra. However, every time there was a ‘flute’ part I seemed to buckle and let’s just say, I did not last long!

Over the past few years, perhaps it is my age, I have fallen in love with Radio 6 Music and Shazam have become my new best friend. The songs I have discovered have heavily contributed to my ever growing Pilates playlist. The words and melodies seem to help create those ‘special’ moments in class. Either for sweaty hard bits or for chilled, relaxed endings, music has enhanced and brought that ’emotional’ connection to my classes. As a teacher I too have felt those special moments and feel like it strengthens the bond between the class participants and I.

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The Power Smoothie

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Juicing and smoothie’s have exploded back onto the health scene and everywhere you look on the internet, whether it be on health blogs, nutrition plans, Instagram the word juicing or smoothie pops up.

It took me a while to jump on the band wagon due to the perceived time and equipment barriers. So only in December did I ask Father Christmas for a blender and a juicer in order to begin my journey. Out of the two, although I love the fresh juices, I think I personally prefer making smoothies. It tends to be quicker, you seem to produce more drink from what you put in and the smoothie itself is more substantial due to the flexibility of what you can put into it.

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#5 Core stability and strength for dancers

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Last in my series on how to be a strong, healthy and happy dancer is all about flexing those abdominal muscles! Core stability and strength are absolutely crucial in order to hit your peak as a dancer.

The biggest weakness I personally see in young dancers is the lack of core stability whilst they move. Kicks, port de bras, movements through the spine all seem to somehow lift shoulders up to the ears and stick rib cages out in front! Developing control and strength in this area will align and lengthen your posture which not only gives you a better silhouette but create freedom of movement in your body.

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#4 get a hobby and explore your interests

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Top tip number 4 of how to be a healthy, happy dancer is all about getting s hobby.

Immersing yourself in a hobby with no or little connection to performing is an incredibly healthy habit for any performer. Taking you out of the dance world for a little time on a regular basis cannot just give you a mental and physical break, but also give you a wider appreciation and perspective. In a highly pressurised industry, this can be very important. The ability to step back and take yourself out of the situation is an incredibly useful skill to have.

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#3 Time to focus and meditate

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Top tip number 3 helping you to become a strong, healthy and happy dancer is meditation.

Meditation is having a bit of a face lift at the moment. More people are understanding what it actually is and reaping the benefits by daily practise. Meditation has been practised by people since since time began. Meditation or what I like to call it, quiet time, allows you to stop and connect with yourself. What you choose to meditate on is up to you, but I find that focussing on your breath quietens your thoughts and gives deep relaxation benefits.

No one can conitnue to give out and perform if they do not have time to fill up and restore. Scientific research has found that the brain actually changes and is better able to cope with the pressures of life through daily meditation. Our brains begin to re-wire by this practise and over time can dramatically change your outlook effecting your whole life for the better.

Why would you not do it then?!?

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#2 Replenish with Protein – Top 5 tips for being a strong, healthy, happy dancer!

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Last week I gave my first top tip on being a strong, healthy and happy dancer which was all about body massage. This week it is all about how to restore your body with wholesome nutrition. It may be tempting to grab a Mars bar or a high cafeine sports drink inbetween rehearsals and when you only have the local cafe to hand, options are limited. The problem with grabbing a sugary or cafeiene based drink/food, is that the boost only lasts a very short time i.e. 30 minutes average if that. It also gives you alot of other E numbers (which are nasty chemicals) and excess sugar which you probably do not need. The sugar you do not use is stored and eventually converted into Fat if your body does not need it. So excess weight can be put on just down to what you snack on in those 5 minutes.

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© Copyright Rebecca Dalby 2015