So, in preparation for posting the first set of exercises under the 'Use It Or Lose It' theme, here are some 'rules' for anyone wishing to join in (and for me too!). These also hold true for dance in general, whether you are in class or practising on your own:
- I'm not a medical professional. You are responsible for yourself. If you're not sure whether you should be doing this, for example because of injury, recent surgery or long-term health issues, ask your GP/doctor, consultant, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional for advice.
- If it hurts, stop! It's okay if the movement feels strange, or you can feel a slight pull, a bit of muscle ache or burn, but sharp pain in soft tissue or joints is not good.
- Be patient and gentle with yourself. Start with the easy exercises and work up to the more difficult versions.
- Remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and that you are unique. Don't compare yourself to anyone else.
- Work slowly, carefully and mindfully; concentrate on good form and don't rush the exercises. Quality, not quantity!
- Work both sides of the body equally, even if it's more difficult on one side or perhaps only one side feels as though it needs it.
- If you feel as though there's no challenge in the exercise, do it anyway, just to prove you still can.
Use It or Lose It!