As us dance teachers get older, we become less active, and most of turn to yoga, pilates, or running. While yoga and pilates are sort of protected in the dance world, running has a huge stigma attached to it. If you run, you’ll get bulky and tight and your joints will be ruined. Don’t run!
I’ve heard this many times over the years, and I’ve always wondered why? Most people that don’t recommend running aren’t doctors or health professionals, they’re dancers themselves. I wanted to get to the bottom of mixing running and dancing, so I asked Brooke Day, a dancer turned Chiropractor. This is what they said:
Basically, running itself isn’t bad for you, but there are certain things that can be precarious. There are a few precautions we need to take if we want to run and continue dancing beyond our years.
1. The Right Shoes
Making sure you have supportive, springy shoes will limit the impact on your ankles, knees, and back. Don’t go for cheap- go for quality
2. Running Surface
Although you can run on all surfaces without injury, treadmills are softer than concrete, and natural earth is the best of them all. This doens’t mean that running on one surface over another will ruin you- it just means you need to focus on your running technique to make sure you’re doing it right.
This video is great at showing the correct form in which you should be running.
Now, if you are running with correct form, you are very unlikely to injure your joints. Running actually helps strengthen our bones. Don’t over do it in the beginning. Start with shorter distances and work your way up. Running helps build endurance even if it is more like a jog, which can then help with stamina during dance. Make sure to stretch afterwards. Your calves may be sore when you’re first learning to do pose running, so just make sure to stretch and stay hydrated.
So the final verdict: Yes you can run to stay healthy, and still excel in dance. You do not need to choose one or the other, but instead just be smart and listen to your body. Practicing good running technique will keep you running and dancing for many, many years!