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Maintaining your Health in Marching Arts Activities

While the marching arts are great musical, social, and athletic activities, some risks are involved. The following suggestions will help you stay healthy all season long!


Physical Repetition and Use

Physical conditioning and technique training are designed to physically prepare you to be healthy and successful while participating in the marching arts. Listen to your body. Pain is one way your body communicates to you. Please let us know when you are experiencing pain so that we may make corrections to help you avoid injury.


Do:

  • Stretch often

  • Consider using Ibuprofen to reduce minor aches, pains, and reduce inflammation

  • Ice muscles and joints

  • Make time to physically REST & RECOVER!

  • Consider ongoing strength training

  • Bring a bandaid or two

  • If needed, wear a knee brace, back brace, ankle brace, etc.


Heat and Sun Protection

During band camp, football games, rehearsals, and competitions, you will likely be out in the sun for several hours at a time. Hydration and sun protection is critical!


Hydration tips

  • Even if the forecast differs, prepare for each day as though it's going to be 95 degrees out.

  • Make sure you prepare by getting fluids in BEFORE heading outside. Have a glass of water or two at each meal.

  • Bring a large water bottle with you! During breaks, take multiple sips, even if you don't think you need it.

  • During football games and competition days, the LB Boosters will provide water (parents should ALWAYS assume bottled water donations are needed). However, you may bring your own water bottle and use it.

  • Don't wait for your body to tell you you're thirsty. If you're thirsty, it means you're already dehydrated.

  • Make sure your urine stays a light yellow color. If it gets darker, you're not getting enough fluids.

  • Water is the best thing to drink. Consider sports drinks to replace minerals lost from sweating, but drink water most of the time.

  • Avoid high-sugar and carbonated drinks, especially during band camp.

  • Eating right is just as important as getting enough fluids. Protein and carbohydrates are your friends on rehearsal and performance days! Don't forget your veggies, either.

  • EAT BREAKFAST. See "Nutrition" below.

Sun protection

  • Wear sunscreen!

  • Sunscreen should protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Check the label!

  • Reapply multiple times throughout the day.

  • During band camp, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. Make sure your sunglasses also provide UV protection.

  • Wear sunglasses when not in a performance. The sun can be damaging to your eyes.

  • Wear light-colored clothing, but put sunscreen on underneath your clothes as well.

  • Don't forget the backs of your hands, your ears, or your lips when applying sunblock (many lip protectants also contain sunscreen).

Nutrition

Marching band is a physical activity. There will be long days during band camp, Saturday rehearsals, and competitions. Eating well is VERY IMPORTANT! You should eat like an athlete. DO NOT SKIP BREAKFAST! Without breakfast, your blood glucose levels will drop, causing fatigue, lack of focus, and general malaise. Combined with the increased activity level and time in the sun, this can lead to severe problems. Follow these recommendations:


Good Breakfast Options:

  • Carbohydrates: Oatmeal, bagels, low-sugar cereal, whole grain bread, fruits, etc.

  • Protein: Eggs, almond butter, lean meat (e.g., salmon, turkey bacon)

BAD options for breakfast:

  • Carbohydrates: Pop-Tarts, doughnuts, sugary cereal, candy bars, etc.

  • Protein: Fast food breakfast sandwiches, high-fat meat (e.g., bacon or sausage), gravy, etc.

Additional Recommendations:

  • Bring protein bars, fruit, or other healthy snacks to rehearsal in case you need to re-fuel.

  • Avoid high-fat and high-sugar items throughout the day.

  • Eat a mix of carbs and protein throughout the day.

  • Eat GOOD fats (e.g., avocado, dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, etc.)

Beverages:

  • Water is the best option to drink at every meal.

  • Avoid caffeine and soft drinks, especially during band camp, long rehearsal days, and competition days.

  • Sports drinks contain artificial colors and sweeteners. Drink these in moderation.

  • Drink juices that are free of artificial sweeteners.

  • Drink milk SPARINGLY. Some people do not tolerate dairy while participating in marching arts activities.




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