Dance Fitness: Three "Get Fit Quick" Methods To Avoid

May 28, 2014

Author: Michelle Potterf, Chair, Dance Department, New York Film Academy

Dance Fitness

There are no short cuts to losing weight or toning your body. Dancers are always looking for ways to improve their physique and drop a couple of pounds. But many short cuts can be dangerous, harmful or simply do not work.

Here are a few “get fit quick” methods that are currently popular…

Juice Cleanse

Always be wary of diets that cut out whole food groups or require extreme restrictions.

While juicing you are eliminating significant amounts of fats, proteins and carbohydrates that fuel the body and help your muscles recover. When you are not eating enough calories, your body will use muscle instead of fat to burn for energy.

Will you lose weight? You may temporarily lose a couple of pounds because you are cutting your caloric intake, but it will be short lived once you start eating whole foods again.

Also, yoyo diets make your body think it is starving and can cause your metabolism to lower permanently.

Extreme Strength Training

Workouts such as Insanity and MMA workout are very extreme Crossfit workouts and they tend to push your body to near exhaustion. The focus is on repeating big power moves in a certain time frame. Struggling to finish as many reps as possible in a short time period tends to produce bad form, causing injuries and puts undue stress on your joints.

Dancers are better off sticking to resistance training like yoga, gyrotonics, pilates.

Another option is using elastic fitness resistance bands to build muscle strength. Cardio training can include swimming or stationary bikes for lower impact workouts.

Dietary Supplements

Be aware that dietary supplements are not regulated the same way prescriptions drugs are by the FDA, and “herbal” doesn’t necessarily mean safe. You’ll note they all come with a disclaimer regarding their benefits because they are not tested to FDA standards. So, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Some dietary supplements contain stimulants such as Bitter Orange extract or high doses of caffeine which can put you at higher risk for bladder problems, stroke and heart attacks. You should always consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

Unfortunately, there is no magical ‘get fit quick’ plan that works safely. Eating healthy whole foods from every food group daily, drinking plenty of water and exercising in moderation is the only surefire way to lead you to a healthy dance life.