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6 disciplines for living healthy like a Nutcracker dancer

To be a Nutcracker dancer requires extreme dedication – and at a time when many family and friends are enjoying fatty treats and lounging around watching football. What health lessons can Nutcracker dancers share to help everyone enjoy a more fit lifestyle during this holiday season? Stephanie Heston and Alexander Smirnov of Kansas Ballet Academy came up with these helpful tips.

  1. Enjoy your food, but watch your portions! It’s completely fine to indulge in your grandmother’s famous pecan pie, but keep it to one piece, and really chew and savor each bite.
  2. Whether you are spending hours at the office or at Nutcracker rehearsal, don’t keep junk food or sweets handy. It’s too easy to overindulge when treats are easily within reach.
  3. Keep healthy snacks and treats with you each day such as vanilla cacao soy milk (packed with calcium and protein), and date rolls covered in coconut (quick burst of energy).
  4. When you’re on break – either during your workday or while spending hours at a dance studio – do arm, abdominal and ankle exercises to make good use of that time.
  5. While Pilates and yoga are healthy and popular options for cross-training during this hectic time of year, think outside the box and consider trying indoor rock climbing, swimming or getting out in nature.
  6. Meditate! Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Take time out to breathe.

The most important thing is to stay positive during a time of year that can be hectic and stressful. Eating well, getting outside and meditation can be very healing.