Take heed of these important health reminders, especially useful for marching athletes.
This story is my final column for Halftime Magazine. I’m embarking on one of the biggest projects of my life and will need to devote myself entirely to that for a time. I’m becoming a parent.
In the last 10 years as the publication’s fitness columnist, I’ve covered a lot of topics. Here is my top 10 list to be your healthiest self.
Drink Water: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking water ensures better overall muscle function and less fatigue. It also promotes regularity and lessens the probability of getting muscle cramps.
Stretch: Stretching lessens the chances of getting injured, it helps you recover more quickly from a workout, and it just feels good. When in doubt, stretch!
Protect Your Hearing: You can never get more or better hearing, so protect it while you are young. Wear musician’s earplugs at practices, competitions, and concerts.
Strengthen Your Back: In order to keep your back strong, you will need to exercise your legs, do the ever-important abdominal work, and focus on glutes. The ab-back connection is a strong one, so doing ab exercises will also improve the health of your back, especially important if you’re carrying a heavy instrument.
Find Fun Workouts: There are many ways to get in a good sweat. Consider hiking, taking a Zumba or barre method class, running, swimming, and even finding exercises on YouTube and doing them in the comfort of your own home. Just make sure you have the right gear—it’s a good rule to live by!
Exercise with a Buddy: Mutual accountability, especially for women, helps get the workouts done. Making plans with a friend means that you will be less likely to flake on your workout.
Meditate: Health and wellness involve not just your body but also your mind. Marching athletes are thinking athletes, so give your mind a rest and breathe. Destressing is an important part of life. Make an appointment with yourself to meditate and make your health your highest priority. Read this article to guide you further.
Recoup After Injuries: Getting hurt can feel like a giant setback. When I injured my hamstring at the end of college, the muscle needed to work through the scar tissue to get back in performance shape. However, that leg is much more flexible now than before the injury because I took the time to heal and get back up to speed.
Remember Your Arms: We carry everything—from bags to drums! Get those weights out and start lifting. Start with moderately heavy weights and several repetitions, then progress to heavier weights and less reps.
If you are struggling, reach out. A band acts as a single unit. Don’t forget that you have support within and from your band.