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How to Prepare Physically for Fall Season

Performers, this one is for you! We're getting ready for another fall season. Hopefully this one looks more like the ones we all remember. So, in celebration of that here's some things to help you prepare! If your guard already has a good workout or pre-season plan for you, follow that! But this is for everyone else.

Experience the heat!

Get outside! Band camp is miserable if you're used to being inside in the air conditioning. For a lot of places, it's still fairly chilly outside, but its never too soon to start. Even if you just go and sit on your porch, get used to the heat. It'll make band camp more tolerable and you won't feel sick from the heat as quickly. I encourage you to go on walks in the heat, too. Get used to getting your heart rate up in the heat and you'll be better off.

Start working out!

If your band program is anything like the one I was a part of or the one I currently teach at you'll start every band camp day with a lap or two around the track and some other exercises before a light stretch. If you already work out, great! If you're anything like me in high school, you have no idea how to work out or what you really need to be doing. Go for walks. Shoot for a mile or more. Then, when that's starting to become easy, start jogging a portion of your walk. Cardio is a very important part of marching band and color guard. Then, exercises. A really easy way to pick out some bodyweight exercises to do is pick 3. One for abs, one for arms, and one for legs. Do 10-15 reps of each exercise and do 3 sets total. Do this every other day or so and you'll be so much stronger for it.

Practice with your equipment!

Along with working out, you need to build muscles specific to your equipment. There's lots of exercises for this. But nothing beats just working with your equipment. Start with your warmups. If you can show up to your guard or band camp having all of your warmups memorized and perfected, your instructor will love you for it. Beyond that work on larger tosses. Throwaways from the bottom tip of your pole. Anything that builds technique and strength. I know dance isn't equipment, but being strong at movement is just as important if not even more so than flag.

Eat healthy!

We all love to snack and load up on carbs, but you have to give your body the fuel it needs to work hard for you. Regardless of your dietary choices, lots of vegetables and fruits are always good for you. Whole grains are equally important. And don't forget protein! Beans, meat, and lots of different vegetables have protein that will help you build muscle! If you struggle to eat vegetables try hiding them in other dishes. Like a handful of spinach in a smoothie or in a soup or even on sandwiches.

Get enough rest!

By this I mean sleep. Go to bed at a reasonable time an try to get a solid 8 hours of sleep. But I also mean let your body rest. If you stretch a little too far and you feel something hurt that shouldn't, don't push it. Don't stretch that muscle until it feels better. If you break or sprain something listen to your doctor. Don't push it for the sake of the show. Heal first. Seriously, treat your body well. You're stuck with it for the rest of your life.

I hope this helps and I hope you have a great fall season!

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