13:49 PM

Dance Bodies

DuJour magazine interviews Kathleen L. Davenport, MD, physiatrist at HSS Florida and company physician for Miami City Ballet, about the connection between mental and physical health and the importance of maintaining fitness to improve overall well-being.

Dr. Davenport explained, “Many health conditions can be mitigated or prevented with attention to fitness, diet, stress and sleep. It really can be optimizing the most basic elements that make the latest difference in our health.”

She continued, “Many people have changed their training during COVID-19 and are just now returning to some of their former activities."

Dr. Davenport noted the importance of easing back into a dance or a sport after a break. She explained, “Even if you have kept physically fit, it can be a high-risk time for the body to transition back to the full volume of a sport or dance style that had been previously performed. It’s essential for my dancers, performing artists and patients of all activities to ramp up gradually to their former level of exercise.”

 Dr. Davenport recommended 20 minutes of exercise per day, balancing cardio (running, elliptical, biking, swimming), core strengthening (Pilates), balance (yoga) and weights.

“In terms of stress reduction, I recommend meditation and prioritizing sleep as an important element of health,” she added.

 This article appeared in the Winter 2022 print issue.