Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace and Focus of a Ballet Dancer

Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace and Focus of a Ballet Dancer by Mary Helen Bowers

Book: Ballet Beautiful: Transform Your Body and Gain the Strength, Grace and Focus of a Ballet Dancer by Mary Helen Bowers Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Helen Bowers
reflection any day! This is probably why I enjoy practicing Ballet Beautiful without a mirror now—I can focus on how I feel rather than how I look.
Workout Clothes
    I have spent years dancing and working out in a leotard and love the comfort and ease of wearing one when I work out. I also enjoy wearing a pair of my ballet slippers because they make me feel graceful and elegant! They also provide a great grip on some of the mat work and allow you to slide your feet with ease in the standing Blasts. This gear may help you really get into a particular mood or mindset. But bare feet or socks will also do. Ballet Beautiful is a flexible program, and that holds true for your outfit—you can wear whatever you wish and whatever enables you to move with confidence and ease. I do, however, recommend wearing form-fitting pants that let you see the lines of your legs so that you can track when your knees are truly bent or straight, for better form.
    I suggest sipping water throughout your workout. We all have heard that it is important to drink eight glasses of water a day and to stay hydrated; this is such common advice that many of us may even forget why water is so necessary for our health—especially when working out.
    Water keeps your muscles fluid instead of tight and allows oxygen to flow through your body as you work out. Water’s many other functions include boosting metabolism, flushing toxins, and regulating your body temperature.
    Your body loses water as you exercise, so the harder you work out, the more you need to replace the fluids. It’s much healthier for you to sip as you go rather than deprive your body of water during an intense workout. This may be obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me, so I want to take a moment to expand!
    When I started dancing with the New York City Ballet, I was only 16 and I didn’t receive a lot of guidance on how to take care of my body. I wasn’t in the habit of drinking a lot of water because it wasn’t something that I did as a kid taking ballet in Charlotte. And when I suddenly found myself performing and dancing 70 hours a week, I didn’t know how much water my body needed. I experienced a period of terrible fatigue that was a total mystery to me. I can clearly remember being exhausted constantly and thinking it had to be something in my diet, that I wasn’t eating enough protein or carbs or vegetables. . . .
    Hydrate with Ballet Beautiful
    There are numerous benefits to staying hydrated! Here are some of my favorites:
    1.Helps weight loss by regulating your appetite (sometimes we eat when our bodies are thirsty!)
    2.Keeps skin dewy and fresh
    3.Aids in digestion
    4.Relieves fatigue
    If you don’t like the taste of water, try adding in fresh fruit or lemon slices. Start paying attention to how much better your body feels. You’ll forget that water is “boring” when it makes you feel that great! Remember, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so be sure to keep water with you at all times—and drink up!
    One Saturday afternoon I was feeling particularly bad after taking class in the morning and dancing three ballets in the matinee. When I casually mentioned that I had only had a coffee to drink that day, one of the older girls in the dressing room explained to me that I was probably deeply dehydrated (I was!) and that I should start drinking way more immediately. I bought and drank a big bottle of water, and from that day on I tried to make drinking water a regular part of my routine. When I made this simple change, I cannot tellyou how much better my body felt. My fatigue lessened, and my energy increased dramatically. It was a lesson I’ll never forget.
    I find that one of the best ways to stay hydrated is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. You don’t have to spend money on exotic mineral waters that promise better filtration or purity. But you might want to think about investing in a water filtration system so you can refill your

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