Recent studies show that dancers are at an increased risk for fractures due to their intense training at a young age and the repetitive nature of dancing. Additionally, the emphasis placed on thin, graceful, young bodies, dancers may lead dancers to expend more energy than they consume, thus causing an energy deficit. Adolescence is a time when proper nutrition is crucial for strong bones. Since many dancers begin dancing when they’re very young, their bodies go through an immense amount of change, pressure, and impact while still growing.
Studies show that dancers who have an inadequate diet coupled with intense exercise can lead to amenorrhea, an absence of one’s menstrual cycle or delayed menarche. This delay of puberty weakens the bones, making dancers more at risk for bone fractures.
It is important for dancers to eat an adequate diet. Parents and pediatricians should monitor when puberty starts as a sign of a healthy body. When dancers are healthy, they benefit from the rigors of dance training. Bones respond to the load placed on them therefore, the impact and intense demands of dance can even improve bone strength.
For more information on dancer’s bone health, check out this article from the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science.
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