Need some tips for surviving summer camp? I’ve got you covered. Camps are hard on everyone involved. On paper, they look great. You think 2 weeks to a month of kids who aren’t “bored” and it gives parents a nice mental health break. We always seem to forget how hard it really is; emotionally, physically and mentally. That which doesn’t break us makes us stronger, right?
We are in week 2 of ballet camp. It’s not like a regular camp where you swim, ride horses and eat s’mores with your friends in the woods and miss your parents. That would be awesome, right? No, it’s a lot more like boot camp. 8-hours a day of pushing your body to the limit. It’s basically football camp without the pads. No sleeping away, just grouchy parents and kids who have to get up way too early during the summer and are perpetually tired for 14 days.
The girls have blisters, leg cramps and blissful exhaustion to show for it. But they’ve stopped complaining and started embracing the challenges. In fact, I think they are actually starting to feel some pride in the hard work even if they do want to rip their feet off and beat everyone with them. I’m proud of them.
Epsom salt, rest, and repeat. That’s the drill. But when you’re pushing your body that hard, some things are unavoidable. Cramps and exhaustion are coming whether you want it or not. Your body can only be pushed so hard before it gives you the middle finger.
1. High protein Snacks
Snacks help to keep you going when you are working out hard. Our favorites are whole almonds that can be tossed into the mouth during classes. Starkist tear and go tuna pouches because you just tear. Eat. Go. no can opener needed. Each pouch has at least 13+ gm of lean protein and only 110 calories, or less.
It’s perfect for starving ballerinas for lunch or after camp. They can just eat it right out of the pouch but sometimes waiting for dinner is not an option. My girls love the New Tuna Creations Thai Chili Style tuna on a sundried tomato cracker and topped with sliced avocado. It is delicious! And we never get bored because there are so many different flavors. Available in 21 varieties, including 13 deliciously seasoned Tuna & Salmon Creations, tuna & salmon in water or oil, as well as low sodium options.
2. Water and more water
Dehydration is no joke and nothing will make your legs cramp up more than overworking dehydrated legs. The recommended daily amount of water is 64 ounces so when dancing you should strive for at least that amount.
3. Epsom salt baths
Pushing your body hard can cause your muscles to ache and revolt. It’s the price you pay for being awesome. So if you are an athlete, just starting back to working out or a ballerina dancing her toes off, a 20-minute soak in an Epsom salt bath will help tremendously. Bonus points for achy ballerina feet if you use peppermint oil in your Epsom salt bath.
You know how your mom always told you that you need at least 8-hours of sleep to feel rested. Mom was onto something. When you are working your body out, you need to give it time to heal and replenish. It’s like driving a car. You’ve got to put gas in that baby to get it going. Well, for the human body you need to feed it plenty of good foods and let it rest so it can go hard again the next day. If not, you’ll burn out and won’t be able to meet your goals.
5. Blister Band-Aids
New shoes, old shoes that or too small or just pointe shoes in general if you are going to be dancing for long amounts of time, you need to invest in blister Band-Aids. They are some sort of magical little Band-Aids that are silicon not latex and are very tiny (made just to cover the blister) and helps to speed up the healing process. I used these on my daughter’s toes last week and after one day, she was fine. These would also be great for anyone who has gotten a blister from breaking in new shoes, in general. I wish I had these when I was breaking in all those flats in middle school!
I know these all sound simple and like no brainers but they are still great tips for any athlete this summer; from the soccer field to the pool and even in the dance studio, these tips will help keep your little one (and yourself) upright and healthy so that they can do their best.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with Starkist but all opinions and tips for surviving summer camp are my own.