Food For Flexibility

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Food For Flexibility

You have opportunities every day to ensure that your diet supports your pole goals. If one of those goals happens to be increased flexibility, you’re in luck – certain foods (and food groups) are known for having benefits that can help you get that bendy body. On the flip side, other foods can slow down your progress and cause inflammation in the joints. Keeping this in mind can help you leverage your food to support your pole goals.

While eating these foods won’t instantly give you oversplits (darn!) or cause you to instantly lose that great middle straddle, they absolutely can have an impact on your progress. Pay attention to what you eat and you’re certain to see a shift in your pole progress over time.


Water might just be the most important factor when it comes to food and flexibility. Staying properly hydrated keeps the joints lubricated and helps move inflammatory toxins out of the body. Start your day with a big glass of water and ensure that you have a water bottle nearby at all times after. Incorporating foods with high water content (like cucumber, watermelon, celery, or spinach) will help your body stay hydrated, too.

Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, romaine, dandelion greens, collard greens, beet greens, bok choy…the list goes on and on! Choose your favorites and mix it up regularly to ensure you’re getting a variety of inflammation-fighting nutrients (including muscle-relaxing magnesium) that will do wonders for your joints.

Healthy Fats

Many of us have chronic inflammation in our bodies resulting from our food and lifestyle choices. Omega-3 fatty acids can help counteract that inflammation, which (among many other benefits) helps keep our joints happy. Add in some salmon, tuna, walnuts, or flaxseed to nourish a bendy body.

While you’re busy adding all that extra goodness, don’t forget that some foods might be working against you when it comes to flexibility. While they can be fine in small amounts, overdoing them can lead to chronic inflammation. While short-term inflammation (like when you twist an ankle and experience pain and swelling) is your body’s way of starting the healing process, chronic inflammation occurs when you constantly make food and lifestyle choices that aggravate your system. (Think constant stress, diets full of processed food, not enough sleep, and so on). Keeping your body in that inflamed state does not support your bendy goals, so you may want to consider minimizing some of the following foods.

Processed Foods

Stepping away from packaged and processed foods also helps you avoid additives and flavoring agents that don’t support your goals. Gravitating towards more whole foods (instead of packaged and processed products) is the best step to building a better pole body. Processed foods are often quite high in sodium, which can causing swelling and water retention in the joints – not good for a bendy body.

Refined Sugars

Refined sugars (including sweet stuff that probably comes to mind right away and the white breads/crackers/cereals/etc. that you might be eating) are taxing on the body and give very little nutritional return. Minimize these foods for a happier, flexier body.

Gluten & Dairy

Gluten is in the news all the time right now. You’ll hear some people saying it’s the devil while others complain it’s just trendy to talk about and still others feel we should all be gluten-free. You know your body best, but it’s good to be aware of how much you intake of any food. Wheat (and other gluten-containing products) are easy to overdo and for some can cause inflammation in the body (including digestive distress). Just be mindful of how much you consume. If you choose to consume grains, make sure you’re selecting different varieties. It’s a similar story with dairy. Pay attention to how your body responds when you eat it, and if you experience digestive issues, skin breakouts, or other side effects, try minimizing your intake to see how you feel.

Just like regular flexibility training can help you reach your bendy ambitions, consistently eating in a way that supports your pole body is what will help you see change. Work on adding in more of the good stuff while minimizing the foods that may interfere with your goals and watch your body transform!

Category: Diet, Health, Tips

About Paige Lysaght Welch

Paige Lysaght Welch is a Certified Health Coach and group fitness instructor who helps pole dancers eat to support their pole goals and gain energy, strength, and flexibility through whole foods. You can learn more (and grab her recipes) at

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