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  • First, congratulations on making it through the summer! Second, how is your body feeling?

    Drum corps has a unique way of making you simultaneously love what you are doing and hate life due to pure exhaustion. It is one of the most physically and mentally challenging activities that a young person can be a part of. Whether you marched or taught, you’ve spent the last three months working harder than you probably ever thought was possible.

    You will carry this newly developed work ethic and passion into the other areas of your life. Before you do that, though, you need to focus on recovering from your season. The 12-hour rehearsal days have left your body in a constant state of pain and stress, you can probably count the number of times you got a full nights sleep on one hand, and your family probably hasn’t had more than four or five hours with you since you left them in May.

    Here are six tips to speed the recovery process:

    1. SLEEP!!!

    I cannot stress this enough. Sleep is the body’s natural means of recovering, and young people need more sleep than the average person (9-9.5 hours per night). For the next couple of weeks, if you feel tired, take a nap or go to bed early. Your body will appreciate you for it.

    2. Eat Whole Foods

    Behind sleep, giving your body the proper nutrition is the next step to encouraging a healthy recovery. It’s not rocket science; your body operates best on natural sources of fuel – fruits, vegetables, nuts, and lean meats. The drum corps diet tends to be filled with processed carbohydrates and cheap food sources. This typically causes increased inflammation throughout your body. Your whole body system will benefit from a detox to return to normal health.

    3. Skin Cleanser

    How many gallons of sunscreen have you put on this summer? And you spent 12 hours a day outside sweating? Yeah, your skin needs a detox too. Just like your stomach and other organs become inflamed from eating a poor diet, your skin and pores have likely become inflamed from the stress that has been placed on them.

    4. Foam Roll

    You’ve been exercising at maximum capacity and then sleeping in a cramped bus seat. Your muscles and joints need to be stretched, and you’ve likely developed many tender points in your muscles. Foam rolling these muscles has been shown to decreased the tenderness in these muscles2.

    5. Spend Time With Friends and Family

    Take a few days to reconnect with the people who made you who you are. They will love hearing all the stories you have from travel, and you’ll have plenty to hear about their summers as well. While drum corps has given you plenty of lifelong friends, it is always beneficial to remember where you came from and cultivate the old relationships.

    6) Find Inspiration

    Drum corps has a unique way of both inspiring its members, but also hardening them due to the incredible work demands and significant time on the road. Whether it is spiritual or inspirational, your mind and soul need time for recovery just as much as your body. Give yourself the quiet time you need before rushing into the fall semester.

    Have fun stories from marching this past summer? Shoot me a message; I would love to hear about it. If you have any other post-season recovery strategies let me know! Please “share” this post on social media so we can continue to deliver quality content to the marching community.

    References:

    Sleep in Adolescents (13-18 Years). Sleep in Adolescents :: Nationwide Children’s Hospital. http://www.nationwidechildrens.org/sleep-in-adolescents. Accessed July 21, 2017.

    Pearcey GEP, Bradbury-Squires DJ, Kawamoto J-E, Drinkwater EJ, Behm DG, Button DC. Foam Rolling for Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness and Recovery of Dynamic Performance Measures. Journal of Athletic Training. 2015;50(1):5-13. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-50.1.01.

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