8 Important Tips To Enhance Dance & Athletic Performance:

by Stacey Nemour

1. Visualization/Meditation:
The mind controls the body, program yourself to be the best you can be. See yourself performing or mastering a move exactly as you wish to be. Then your inner knowing will guide you there. In my mind I saw and practiced every kick and martial arts move before I mastered it.

 

Stacey working w dancer Robbie Downey2. Flexibility training:
Over my twenty five years in this field, I have witnessed that most athletes and teams do not have a balance in the area of flexibility training. Flexibility increases the range of motion in ones sport, decreases the likelihood of injuries and keeps away back pain, knee problems and many other issues. Many people unnecessarily feel it is time to quit the training they love due to pain or injuries. I have seen this with my clients, and I have remedied these issues with the correct flexibility training program and the belief that the body knows how to repair itself.

stacey_017a3. Cross training:
Mix it up with a well rounded training program. This will give your body a chance to repair and help balance the body. Spend time focusing on training the weaker areas of your body and you will come back stronger in your chosen sport.

4. Stay hydrated:
Whether you’re a serious athlete or recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during and after exercising. Water regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints and helps transport nutrients for energy and health. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body will be unable to perform at the highest level, and you may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness or more serious symptoms. (1) (2)

  • 5. Coffee:
  • Good news for coffee drinkers!  Studies on athletes(3) have shown that having a cup of coffee enhances sports performance, endurance, mental alertness and reaction time.  The antioxidants in coffee have anti-aging benefits and can help prevent diabetics 2, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and depression. For those with sensitive stomachs and want a cup of coffee with extra benefits Tieman’s Organic Fusion Coffee  is low acid with added antioxidants of matcha green tea and goji berries. There website includes all of the lab proven benefits at http://www.tiemans.com/

6. Breathing:
The breath can transport the body to let go while stretching, getting into the zone in meditation and allowing energy to flow giving more power to your performance. For all sports, it is important to breathe deeply rather than take shallow breaths. To breathe deeply, you should feel the breath originate in your lower abdomen, your diaphragm lifts and your lungs expand. Breathing deeply oxygenates your muscles so they can work harder, build strength and increase speed. (4) According to Al Lee and Don Cambell authors of the book “Perfect Breathing: Transform Your Life One Breath at a Time” conscious breathing techniques can accelerate healing, improve cognitive skills, enhance sex and intimacy, intensify meditation, boost athletic performance, and open our receptivity to greater spiritual awareness (5)

7. Food:
Going with-out eating can send your body into “starvation protection” mode, conserving calories, storing fat, and burning muscle (not fat) for energy. Eat a healthy snack every three to four hours to help manage your energy and mood. This will you raise your metabolism so it stays in high gear, and you burn fat all day long. This will also curb your levels of cortisol the “stress hormone” which can help get rid of belly fat, because eating every 3 hours keeps your blood sugar levels steady.  Research from Georgia State University shows that people who eat every 2 to 3 hours have less body fat and faster metabolisms than those who eat only 2 or 3 meals per day. Naturally stay away from all drugs, alcohol and smoking.

8. Sleep:
A 2011 study tracked the Stanford University basketball team for several months. Players added an average of almost two hours of sleep a night. The results? Players increased their speed by 5% and their free throws were 9% more accurate. They had faster reflexes and felt happier. Other studies have shown similar benefits for football players and other athletes.(6) Also, Lack of sleep can alter your metabolism, says Sanjay Patel, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.  Lack of sleep can decrease the number of calories your body burns just resting.

 

About The Autor

Stacey Nemour is a highly respected martial artist and flexibility expert. She has been featured in many publications  appearances such as Inside Kung Fu, Masters of Kung Fu, SELF Magazine and Kung Fu Magazine. Stacey has coached many pro-athletes & teams including Ultimate Fighting Champion Vitor Belfort and the Carlson Gracie Jiu -Jitsu Team. She, guest starred in the popular television show “Power Rangers”, and worked as a stunt coordinator/ fight double for Cybil Shepherd on the TV show “Cybil”.  She also currently contributes to the The Huffington Post . Stacey is also known for her seven very informative popular DVD’s. One of her best sellers is “Secrets of Splits & Flexibility” all are available on disc or as a download . For more information visit staceynemour.com  and check out her Facebook.  Stacey is available for private sessions or via Skype for people out of Southern California.

References

1. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/exercise-fitness/exercise-basics/athletes-the-importance-of-good-hydration.html

2.  http://hprc-online.org/nutrition/hprc-articles/how-often-should-i-drink-fluids-during-exercise

3. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/26/health/nutrition/26best.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

4.  http://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/633/want-to-improve-your-performance-breathe/

5. http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Breathing-Transform-Your-Breath/dp/1402743882

6. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/sleep-athletic-performance

 

Image Credit:

1st Picture Stacey Nemour flexibility session with ballet dancer Robbie Downey

2nd photo & Jumping side kick of Stacey Nemour  photo credit: Tony Donaldson

 

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